i was talking to someone on the phone while driving the other day, and stopped the conversation to rant about people who DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE TRAFFIC CIRCLES. we took our honeymoon in england so we learned very quickly how to use traffic circles. well, as i approached the circle, someone who was ALREADY IN THE CIRCLE stopped DEAD to let me in. very very big mistake. but she was smoking and i was on the phone so you know neither of us had our full attention on the road. (that's tongue-in-cheek, btw.)
and let me just put in an aside here - i have a headset, and if i'm on the phone in the car, i use it. there's still a risk, but one i'm willing to incur, as i truly believe an experienced driver is in no more danger talking on the phone than they are talking to a passenger, which is still legal, i believe.
the situation reminded me of our expedition to West Point last year for nephew's graduation. (nephew was recently deployed to the Iraq/Afghanistan zone, can't tell us where exactly! so please keep him in your prayers.) while in New York State, and WP is only an hour from NYC, give or take, we witnessed extreme road rage. we pulled up to a red light at a big intersection; there were 2 left turn lanes and 3 continuing lanes. we were in the left-hand continuing lane, when someone pulled up in the far left turn lane, GOT OUT OF HIS CAR, and proceeded to run to the car in front of him, and began CURSING the driver and HITTING the driver because he'd "nearly killed him back there."
fortunately at this point the light turned green and we were able to get the heck outta there. i'm a good samaritan and would like to help but not if it puts me or my kids in danger. and i didn't know the area well enough to call the cops and get them out there. this man was freaking nuts! and the little guy in the car in front of him was in such shock he couldn't even defend himself! the weather was nice and his window was down, and he was suddenly accosted and beaten right through the driver's window!
this reminiscence reminds me WHY I LOVE LIVING IN THE SOUTH. there were many fine things about the philadelphia area that i loved and i do miss sometimes. but people tend to be more laid-back and calm instead of aggressive and violent in such situations. i would beep the horn (in an appropriate situation) in philadelphia and my friends would panic and tell me someone was liable to shoot me for honking the horn! and i replied i refuse to live my life in fear of some idiot. but at least that's rarer here!