So I Have Road Rage

Topic 15670 | Page 1

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sgtwilldog's Comment
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Not the "pull out a gun" type. But, and I don't know why it's bothering me all of a sudden:

I'm on my way home from CDL school in my Camaro, on a divided highway, 3-lanes, and jerk merges to highway in front of me and crosses all lanes, narrowly missing me (would have hit me if I wasn't paying attention to slow down and honk and flip him off).

Then, I'm on an off-ramp and it says 35mph, yet I am going 39. The speed of this turn is obviously set for trucks, so even though I'm way above the posted speed limit, I could have done 80 around the curve no problem... guy is tailgating and making hand motions that I'm too slow for him.

I'm not really mad now, but just reflecting. Why are these people out now? Or have they always been there and I've never noticed until now? I guess last week I would have taken the turn at about 60, but I am trying to be closer to what would simulate a truck. As a driver, how do you keep patience with others while on the road?

Thank you. :D

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
B Y 's Comment
member avatar

I don't have the answer as to how to have patience with other drivers but i know you do have to have patience or being a trucker isn't going to be the right job for you. I could tell you several things about other drivers that tick me off on a daily basis but the bottom line is you have to learn patience and realize not everyone is a good driver. You have to learn to take a deep breath and brush things off. Being patient doesn't come naturally for everyone (myself included). And it's not just passenger vehicle drivers that test you, other truckers will test your patience as well.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

I yell at them and call them names. Of course I do this in my car where they can't here me. I also pay attention and keep a safe following distance. One thing my cousin taught me years ago is weight rules. So, truckers are king of the road. rofl-3.gif

Seriously, When you learn to drive defensively, you see all the idiots doing the things you were taught no to do. Just relax and pray that the idiots don't hurt anyone.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

And driving isn't just the only times you'll need patience. You're going to be sitting for hours waiting to load or unload. You're going to have your schedule changed or your assignments changed. You're going to sit in traffic backups for long periods of time or have to park it in order to wait out storms.

Nothing is more critical to safety than patience and it's also a hallmark of a true professional out there.

Having patience really is a skill that you can develop. It's something you can practice and become better at just like shooting baskets or hitting a baseball. The first thing that helps is to never take anything personally. No one is doing anything to you personally. They're doing what they're going to do regardless of who is driving the vehicle. Another thing that helps is to remember the ultimate goal is to never hit anything. Whether someone cuts you off or tailgates you or gives you the finger - none of that matters as long as you don't hit anything. Consider it a victory if you're a good enough driver to park the truck at the end of the day without a scratch on it.

You're probably becoming impatient with people more often now because you're so much more aware of safe driving practices and the high level of responsibility you have out there. When you start getting irritated just take a deep breath and learn to let it go. Make a game out of it. See how quickly you can catch yourself getting annoyed and don't let yourself get carried away with it.

Finally, one of the keys to turning big miles out there consistently is conserving your mental energy. Regardless of what the logbook rules read you're going to find that eighteen hour days are the norm out there once you factor in all of the things you'll be doing that don't get logged as on duty like laundry, meals, shopping, etc. If you allow yourself to get emotional out there you're going to exhaust yourself quickly. And that goes for anything emotional. It could be emotional thoughts about loved ones back home, anger towards other drivers, or even rockin out to some 80's metal. That kind of stuff will exhaust you pretty quickly. You'll learn that relaxing and going with the flow is important in order to string together the super long days you'll be living out there.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Well, I don't want to downplay what you're calling road rage, but I do want to point out that most or all of us get pretty ticked off sometimes. For example, just recently Tractor Man, who is generally one of the most positive people on here, posted a rant about people driving like idiots. So you're not alone in your frustration.

To answer your question, you're probably just more aware, now that you are in cdl school and trying to drive like you're in a truck. You just have to learn to let it roll off. One of my favorite instructors in school taught us to stay "cool, calm, and collected"--even after almost a year since I started cdl school, that is some of the best advice I've gotten. If someone ****es you off, let it go. Get as far away from that idiot as possible.

I don't typically get too upset at other drivers, but I had a situation a few months ago that kinda scared me. I was driving home in my personal vehicle and this bobtail was tailgating me. I don't remember exactly why, but in this particular instance it irritated the crap out of me. I got so mad at this guy I had to take the next exit and cool down for several minutes before I got back on the road.

So anyways, you're definitely not alone in your frustration, but do whatever you have to do to keep your anger in check. The best way you can do that is by not pushing the limits. If you even start getting mad at someone, it's time to lower your speed and give that person time to get away from you. We all have limits and if you think you're getting close to yours, take five.

As far as tailgaters go, there's only so much you can do about them. On ramps all you can do is keep an awareness of their position. In other situations I sometimes slow down to let them (or urge them to) pass me, but that's really about all you can do. Fortunately, tailgaters are easier to ignore (sort of, since you still have to keep an eye on them) in a semi since they're so far back. It's alot easier to deal with than an SUV taking up your entire rear-view mirror.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Brett beat me to it haha

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

I believe that some of the calmness will come with age too. Years ago I would get upset but now I don't care. When people get really mad at me I like to have some fun. If they flip me off I will smile and give them a thumbs up. Or get that window licker grin and wave at them....

Here is the thing, don't worry about something that you can do nothing about, just be aware that stupid people are out there. Now that you are getting your 6th sense you are seeing stupid people.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

This might sound a bit passive aggressive, but I treat 4 wheelers like they're children. They don't know any better because they're ignorant. It's like romper room out here. I see it all the time - I'm just used to it now. It's easier not to get upset at children, because they really don't know any better.

Yesterday a wandering child sped up and tailgated a truck that was caught in the hammer lane going up a hill. Of course the little tot didn't know that the truck driver would love to speed things up and get out of the way, but a truck doesn't accelerate like that. The little guy proceeded to honk his little horn, finally darted out around the truck, and threw a tantrum by waving his hand out the window as he passed the truck driver. He might have dropped his pacifier on the floor of his vroom vroom while waving his hand.

So I expect it from children, but what gets me is the other truck drivers. That's where I have to consciously practice patience - a mindful awareness of how I react to stupidity.

Kevin H.'s Comment
member avatar

I used to be the same way, in a hurry all the time and no one else was ever going fast enough. So now when I see someone else like that I remind myself that I know how it is. Traffic still gets to me though, especially people who drive past a backed up lane and cut in at the last moment, and most especially when they do it in front of me.

Years ago someone game me a book that was called The Zen of Driving, I think. Maybe the Tao of Driving. A search on Amazon found some books with similar titles but I don't think any of them are the same one. Anyway, from what I remember, in a nutshell it was what Brett said, don't take it personally. It's not people being jerk faces (borrowed that from another thread), it's just traffic situations that you have to deal with. Of course it's a simple concept, the problem is thinking that way all the time.

Kenneth L.'s Comment
member avatar

I have to agree with the other advice givers. All good info here it seems. When in a 4 wheeler, someone tailgating can be problematic. If you're on a ramp, just don't worry about it. You'll be off the ramp soon enough.

Trucks tend to tailgate cars to let the car know one of two things. One you are driving slow and you're NOT in the far right lane that isn't an exit only lane. Or you have passed me and now you are slowing down. If you wanted slow down you should have done that when you were behind me.

However, now that more and more trucks are getting electronics installed for EVERYTHING. A driving tactic change is in order. You can no longer tailgate. You simply pull into the passing lane and attempt a pass of the car that's causing the problem. The car driver just CAN'T STAND THE IDEA of being behind a truck so it then speeds up. This actually works better than tailgating. As a lot of car drivers will intentionally slow you down because they know it's getting on your nerves. When you attempt the pass, they lose control of the situation and then move on.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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