I called the police on an angry driver, who turned out to be a coworker

A reader writes:

Last week, I was driving in to work and encountered a very angry driver. He started severely tailgating me off campus, but it turned out we were headed to the same parking deck at the university where we both work, so he was behind me the entire time we drove on campus as well. He thought I was driving too slowly (I was driving the speed limit) and began flashing hand signals (not obscenely) to me and driving erratically, including what looked like trying to pass me on the left on a two-lane curvy road, which almost caused an accident with an oncoming vehicle.

I park in a noticeable reserved parking spot at the moment (an expectant mother space), and so when he followed me into the parking deck, he pulled behind me and hollered at me from his car (rudely, but without obscenities or threats, etc.). I got his license plate number and called campus police; they came down and took an official witness statement from me and also interviewed the parking lot attendant.

It turns out the angry driver works in the building next to mine, and I believe he’s a faculty member (I’m mid-level staff). The police’s feedback to me was that when they talked to him about the incident, he did not deny yelling at me or hand-signaling, and that he was calm and was told not to have any further contact with me. The police couldn’t ticket him since they did not see the incident firsthand, but an official complaint has been recorded and there’s a police report on file.

While I don’t want any further contact with this person either, the fact of the matter is that we work in neighboring buildings, have permits to park in the same deck, and this person knows what car I drive (he confirmed this to the police) and where I park (i.e. the reserved and visible expectant mother space he’ll have to pass every day for the next two months). I realize that the police may have done all they can do within their legal limits, but given that we’re both employees of the same university, is this a matter HR should get involved in, or at least know about? It seems crazy to me that someone can treat a fellow employee this way, even if we’re not exactly “coworkers.”

You’ve got to wonder who thinks this is a good idea to do around their place of work (or anywhere, obviously, but especially where they work).

But I wouldn’t take it to HR unless there’s another problem. At this point, he’s been talked to by campus police and told to leave you alone. Going to HR on top of that feels (to me) like overkill.

If he does anything else that makes you uncomfortable, then yes, absolutely go talk to them and ask what can be done to get him to stop harassing you. But at this point, there was one altercation, he was told to cut it out, and it makes sense to assume that he will until/unless you see that that’s not the case.

With any luck, he’ll calm down and feel mortified.

{ 309 comments… read them below }

  1. Helka

    Yikes, that’s terrifying! I had something similar happen once (with actual obscenities) but fortunately when I turned off into my subdivision the guy kept going. But the whole time, I was petrified that he was going to escalate from dangerous driving and intimidating behavior to actual violence.

    Now, me, I don’t take AAM’s attitude about assuming he’ll behave unless you get evidence that he won’t. I’ve spent too much time around people with dangerous tempers to feel safe with that kind of assumption — once someone has shown they are willing to indulge in that kind of behavior, I assume they will be willing to do so again, barring further information that supports it being an aberration. So whether or not you choose to go to HR, I would exercise caution for the next while — not being alone in the parking lot, for instance, or varying what time you arrive/leave.

    1. OhNo

      +1 to all of this. If the guy made you uncomfortable enough that you felt the need to call the campus police, I would be extra careful for a little while just in case. There’s no reason to go overboard with it unless something happens to make you even more concerned, but it couldn’t hurt to vary what time you come in/leave for a short time, or take advantage of any escort services to/from the parking lot that your campus provides.

      If nothing else, varying what time you arrive might mean you won’t have another interactions with this weirdo on the way to work. I don’t know about you, but worrying that I was going to run into the guy on the road again would stress me out quite a bit.

    2. Wonderlander

      Not work related, thank goodness, but I had a similar experience. DH and I were leaving a parking garage after a large hockey game and as usual the line of vehicles exiting the garage was wrapped up and down the levels. We politely stopped to let a parked car reverse and get in line in front of us and OH MAN did it piss the guy behind us off. He honked, rolled down his window, screamed/yelled, etc. Even went so far as to scream personal affronts about how DH was obviously driving a “girlie” car (it was mine). Then he noticed my Obama bumper sticker and things got really offensive. This went on the entire time we were in the garage – we crawled inch by inch in the line to get out of the parking structure and every minute this guy was yelling, honking, etc. When I turned around in my seat to get a better view of the guy causing so much trouble, he was driving a minivan with his wife in the passenger seat and children in the back! Screaming profanities and insults at a driver in a parking garage is one thing, but doing it when you’ve got youngish children in the back is another. I thought for a few minutes perhaps he had a few beers at the game, but then I didnt want to think about why they were letting him drive if so…. But I can say that if this guy was following me to work instead of just behind me in line in the parking garage, I’d be terrified. He was not acting like a sane person by any means. I agree with Helka – OP, please vary the times you arrive and leave and maybe make sure co-workers are aware what time you’re leaving or supposed to arrive so they can be on the lookout for signs of trouble, etc. You can never be too careful!

    3. April

      Helka, I don’t think I’d have even driven to my subdivision if I were you. I wouldn’t want someone who had it in for me to know where I lived. I’d have gone on past. The one time I’ve had someone following me in a way that made me nervous, I purposely made a several turns that did not lead towards my house. They stopped following me after a bit and I was very relieved. If I had someone particularly persistent on my tail, I think I’d drive straight to the police station.

      1. Helka

        Yeah, if it happened again I would take more defensive measures; at the time I was just freaked out and wanted to get off the road as quickly as possible. I think if he had kept following me into the subdivision though I would not have stopped at my home but just gone on a sightseeing tour.

        1. Jazzy Red

          If it happens again, go straight to the police department. If the driver follows you in there, stay in your car and call the police non-emergency number from your cell phone, and tell them what’s going on. (Example: I’m in your parking lot and an angry driver followed me here, and I’m afraid to go home.) If you don’t have their number in your phone, put it in now.

          1. Jacob

            Better yet, just call 911 from your cell phone. In many areas, police officers are on the road patrolling or responding to calls, not sitting in a police station. An angry driver following you is absolutely enough to call 911, not to try to find a non-emergency number.

  2. Brittany

    Random question – is the expectant mother parking space just a space you’ve been assigned or are you using it because you’re pregnant (or even female? the letter doesn’t specify)? The reason I ask is because if you are in fact a pregnant woman, this whole thing would skeeve me out even more just because not only is the guy willing to go off on you, but he’s willing to do it and make you uncomfortable to the point of yelling at you after you’ve parked in a space advertising your condition. I’m pregnant and that would absolutely freak me out. I would say that HR is a bit of an overstep, but I would definitely mention it to your manager as something that happened. That way you have it on record with him/her, especially if something else were to occur (I agree with Helka that once a person is willing indulge in that behavior, they would be willing to again) and it begins to cause you stress.

    1. Helka

      Agreed! Going to HR might be overkill, as they’d probably have some kind of obligation to speak to him about it (if nothing else, to get his side of the story) but your manager is another story, and it would be good to have people at work at least aware that there was an occurrence, so that if it does happen again they won’t be hearing about it for the first time.

    2. Cath in Canada

      I was also going to suggest that the OP mention the incident to her manager, just in case Road Rage Rodney says anything or causes any problems in the future (although hopefully he was just having a bad day). Not in a formal way, but I think it might be helpful to let the manager know that this happened.

      (And my sympathies to the OP. I was recently almost knocked off my bike by a driver who cut me off a block from work, while I was going through an intersection on a clear green light in broad daylight. I yelled “HEY!!! YOU ALMOST HIT ME!!!” at the driver then immediately thought “oh no, what if that was a senior manager?!”. Luckily it wasn’t, but I had a few seconds of dread first. I hope this all blows over for you with no additional stress).

    3. AnonyMouse

      Yeah, the way I’d handle this would probably vary depending on my relationship with my manager, but if I had a pretty good one I think I’d follow this advice to mention it (but keep it casual). For instance, with my most recent manager I would definitely feel comfortably saying something like “I wanted to let you know I had a minor incident with someone who works in the next building over the other day. I’m totally fine, but he got verbally aggressive and kind of confrontational as we were driving into work, and I ended up calling the campus police to deal with the situation. I’m hoping it was just some one-off road rage brought on by a bad mood or a rough early morning, but since this did happen on campus, I wanted to keep you in the loop.” If your manager is anything like mine, she’ll be really sympathetic, and probably grateful that you told her so she can support you if there are any more issues. And of course, fingers crossed that there won’t be, and the angry driver is now calm and mortified like Alison said.

      1. AnonyMouse

        Oh, and forgot to add, OP, if you really want to give him the benefit of the doubt while doing this, you don’t even need to mention who it was unless your manager specifically wants to know. This keeps your manager informed on what happened and able to support you without creating further awkwardness for him if he truly does regret the incident.

    4. anon123

      What would the manager do about it though? If I were the manager, I would be wondering why you were telling me this since I would have no power to do anything meaningful.

      1. Brittany

        I would approach it the way Anonymouse laid out as just an FYI. I don’t think there really is too much a manager would be able to do, but if you have that kind of relationship (I do with my manager) they might even know a bit more to the story and be able to provide some insight, for example, “Templeton has been known to be a hostile driver, just be mindful of your surroundings and get in touch with campus police again should another situation arise.” vs “Oh Templeton is usually such a nice person, he may have just been having a terrible day.” One let’s you know this is probably an isolated thing and the other one tells you to keep your guard up a bit. Your manager might not know anything but it’s still a good person to have in your corner.

        1. Artemesia

          I’d get this on record at work as well. Perhaps not HR but would sit down with manager and let him or her know you are afraid this guy has anger management issues and could be a threat to you. That way if there is ANY further incident at all, you have both a police report and your manager knows it is a continuing issues. And if there is ANY further incident then escalate to HR.

          There are degrees of this. A finger flipped or something would not have weirded me out that much — stuff happens. But this sounds pretty egregious and I would share your concern about this guy’s ability to control himself.

      2. AnonyMouse

        I thought about that too before posting my reply in agreement, but ultimately I came down on the side of thinking that if I was the OP’s manager, and something happened to her on campus that resulted in a police report being filed, I would want to know. Even if I wasn’t planning to do anything about it, I’d appreciate the heads up so I could be prepared to support her if the situation did escalate further, and even just offer support for having to deal with a stressful situation like that in the first place. It’s definitely something that could vary from manager to manager, though, so the OP should use her judgement about whether to say something or keep it to herself.

        1. Jillociraptor

          I totally agree. I like to hear about anything that’s affecting my employees’ ability to do their job well and be happy, even if I can’t do anything about it. Definitely have reasonable expectations of what your manager will be able to do, but if it were me, I’d appreciate hearing about the past incident, and being kept appraised of anything that develops in the future.

      3. Pennalynn Lott

        Am I the only one who has *always* had the kind of rapport with my managers, such that it would be par for the course for me to mention this kind of incident just in passing? Pretty much anything that could be classified as, “Wow, this extreme thing happened to me,” would be an open topic for discussion. I’ve always approached my managers as fully-rounded human beings, not as professional automatons who can only handle a limited number of business-related subjects.

    5. OP

      Yes, I am (visibly) pregnant and its a reserved spot that has been created for and assigned to me for a period of three months. That being said, obviously the other driver couldn’t tell I was pregnant when we were both driving, and once I park in the reserved spot, my car covers most of the signage. So, it is possible he didn’t realize my “condition.”

      My manager is aware of what happened – as are most of my co-workers. It’s hard to be discreet when a police officer comes to speak to you in the office… Everyone was very supportive and offered walks to my car, etc.

      1. AnonyMouse

        Ah, gotcha. In that case, I’m really glad your coworkers are being supportive, and I’m so sorry you had to deal with this!

      2. Helka

        I am so glad that your manager and coworkers have your back on this! And having the reserved spot created for you… it sounds like your workplace is a supportive one, and I’m glad for you :)

      3. Observer

        It must have been really uncomfortable when the campus police comes to talk to you, but it works out perfectly. After, this way your manager (and everyone else) is aware of what happened but there’s no place for “why did she bring that up?” thinking.

        And, it’s really good that your manager and co-workers are supportive. It also means that you are not likely to get “gaslighted” on this, which is always a concern.

      4. Not So NewReader

        I am not saying be paranoid and fearful, but definitely take your coworkers up on their offers to walk with you. Keep your cell in your hand. Nothing replaces using a level head and planning in these types of situations.

    6. The Real Ash

      I don’t mean to sound rude, but what does the OP being pregnant have to do with this guy’s behavior? Getting angry enough over someone’s driving to stop behind their vehicle, get out and yell at them is crazy and scary regardless of the contents of a person’s uterus. Would it be OK or less scary if this happened to a man? Men are actually more likely to be the victims of physical assault and homicide, so wouldn’t a man have more to fear? I’m just confused as to why her pregnancy makes this situation worse. I’d hate to think that if/when I get pregnant, I would become too delicate to be able to handle anything bad that happened to me.

      (I fully expect to get jumped on for this…)

      1. Helka

        Not jumping on you. But to answer your question…

        1. Women who are heavily enough pregnant to warrant a delineated parking space are probably impaired in their mobility — ie her ability to get away from the guy if he went beyond shouting and escalated to physical violence would be impaired.

        2. Men don’t have to fear losing a child due to physical violence. A pregnant woman, if battered, would run the risk of miscarriage.

        3. Homicide is the #1 cause of death for pregnant women.

        Just some points to consider.

        1. Helka

          Okay, I should edit on #3 – that stat does appear to be controversial. However, regardless of whether it is number one or not, it is high on the chart. And that is a scary thing.

        2. The Real Ash

          Regarding point #3, some simple scanning shows that the study your statistic is based on is almost 20 years out of date, and that no actual study has conclusively determined that homicide is the leading cause of death in pregnant women. If anything, the number one cause of death for women of child-bearing age is accidents. I do understand what you’re getting at, but I just can’t believe that we automatically have to turn into shrinking violets just because we get knocked up.

          1. Helka

            I don’t think “being seriously concerned that someone who has demonstrated dangerous behavior will escalate that behavior” equates to being a shrinking violet.

            1. Anna

              Women who are victims of violence while pregnant are more often than not victims of domestic or partner violence, not random violence from person being a jerk in a car. Context is important.

          2. Jamie

            It has nothing to do with being a shrinking violet – it has to do with the fact that you are far more physically vulnerable when heavily pregnant. In the last trimester it takes time just to get out of the car, forget about running for your safety and your ability to physically defend yourself severely diminished.

            And there’s the matter of any threat to your body is also a threat to your baby – she has to not only protect herself but her child as well.

            People in physically vulnerable states (pregnancy, holding a child, on crutches, in wheelchair, elderly with impaired mobility, etc.) certainly do need to be even more cautious than normal and one of the better aspects of society is our convention of looking out for them, even when strangers. Hence the custom of giving up a seat on public transport to someone elderly, pregnant, holding a baby, or otherwise disabled (permanently or temporarily.)

            1. Ringless

              Agreed. When I was pregnant, I definitely was more ‘nervous’ about potentially dangerous scenarios, since now I was a much larger target, was much more likely to bleed to death if I was struck in my (much larger) belly, could no longer run (or jump or make sharp turns), lost a lot of potential escape routes because of size, and was much more likely to accidentally injure myself if I tried to get away.

              Plus, most people are more ‘protective’ towards pregnant women and children, so if someone was willing to get violent in that circumstance, then I’d assume he’s less inhibited toward violence.

              It’s scary realizing how vulnerable you are because oftentimes it doesn’t hit until you actually can’t do something.

          3. Jazzy Red

            Really, Ash? The fact that a pregnant woman is more vulnerable than one who isn’t, or a man, doesn’t bother you at all?

        3. Jamie

          To follow up #2 – yes miscarriage/dangerously early labor. Also should she get hurt any medical treatment she needs has to be vetted to not harm the baby – which is sometimes a complicated process.

      2. DeAnna

        Not jumping on you, and not disagreeing that this experience is scary no matter what your gender. However, being pregnant adds a huge amount of emotional AND physical vulnerability to the situation.

        1. TL

          I would actually argue that being pregnant means you’re less likely to be a victim of (non-domestic) violence. We do have a culture of taking extra good care of pregnant women, so I find it much harder to believe that a stranger would go after someone he knew to be pregnant (especially visibly so), especially since the OP does say it’s likely he didn’t realize during the entire altercation that she was pregnant.

          That being said, I can understand being more scared and freaked out because you’re pregnant, slower, heavier, and responsible for growing a fetus. Definitely more a more vulnerable position than your average bear.

          1. Brittany

            That’s the original point I was trying to make in asking that question – this skeeved me because while I would be wary of someone who was willing to get hostile and aggressive towards me in the first place, I would be even more fearful of the kind of person who is willing to do that to someone who is very obviously pregnant. It says a lot about someone’s character and would make every intuitive alarm bell go off for me.

            1. Jamie

              I agree – but the OP in the comments said the sign was obscured and he couldn’t see she was pregnant from the car so he was aggressive long before he could have seen she was pregnant. That’s not much, because it’s still crazy to go off on strangers like that, but it’s something.

      3. Brittany

        Totally valid question and not rude. I would have probably thought the same thing before I got pregnant. Being pregnant is…weird. You feel the same, especially at first, but then it becomes glaringly obvious that you are not capable of the same things you were before. It’s frustrating and you feel a bit powerless. That being said, even though either gender is susceptible to any kind of attack, being pregnant does make you more vulnerable as Helka stated in your ability to get away and also the risk of miscarriage. It’s not about being delicate per se, because obviously pregnant women do survive harsh conditions, it’s about that you’re just more at risk, especially because it’s not just you at stake.

        1. Bend & Snap

          This, and high blood pressure is really dangerous for mom and baby. Incidents like this can definitely spike BP and cause pregnancy risks and complications.

      4. AnonyMouse

        I think this would be just as wrong from the aggressor’s perspective regardless of who was the target, but from the target’s perspective it could be especially unnerving for a pregnant woman in much the same way that being threatened while out driving could be especially frightening for someone who had a young child with them in the car. If I’m out by myself and someone behaves threateningly, I’ll definitely be scared, but I’ll handle the situation knowing that only my personal safety is at risk. If I was with a young or vulnerable person I was tasked with protecting, I would be thinking about how to ensure their safety even before mine. I’ve never been pregnant, but know from talking to friends that a lot of people view any danger (however minor) that comes up while they’re expecting as primarily a risk to the child, and get really, really upset about the prospect of something going wrong. It’s kind of like consciously or subconsciously driving more carefully when your kid is in the backseat, or being more cautious about doing some kinds of physical activity while expecting.

        This definitely doesn’t mean that it’s okay to be aggressive towards people who aren’t visibly pregnant, and I think your question is a really valid one. But most people would probably consider the additional stress that a possibly threatening situation would cause for a pregnant woman before choosing to escalate to this degree. So for me it’s less about any actual added physical danger, and more about being conscious of the fact that (most) pregnant women are already walking around with an especially heightened safety consciousness, and acting really aggressive towards them is a major jerk move. But at the end of the day, this behaviour would be unacceptable regardless of the target.

      5. Artemesia

        I guess I am jumping to the conclusion that you are a man if you honestly have no idea why a pregnant woman is more vulnerable faced with a violence prone stranger than a man would be. She not only would have trouble avoiding him and running for help but she has the added fear that any sort of assault could kill or injure her child. It is terrifying to feel threatened when you are carrying a child.

          1. Linguist curmudgeon

            Being unaware that pregnant women have limited mobility (and are thus less able to flee or to physically defend themselves from violence) is an equal opportunity condition of ignorance, I guess. :-)

      6. Mander

        I was interpreting the fact that the OP is pregnant in part as an indication that she will be parking in the same place every day, thus highly visible (and with predictable movements). If something similar happened to me I’d probably try to park in a different place for a while, but having a special designated parking spot obviously makes this impractical for the OP.

  3. Elizabeth the Ginger

    Good for you for calling the campus police – I think it’s important to hold people accountable for this kind of irresponsible behavior. I saw a truck from a plumbing company tailgating and passing dangerously the other day and called the number on the side to complain.

    Hopefully your fellow employee is a generally reasonable person who was having a bad day and is now ashamed of his overreaction.

    1. Cath in Canada

      My friend used to work with horses on a vet school campus, and had to call a few different companies to let them know that their drivers were going way too fast too close to horses, causing a serious safety issue for her and others who were leading the animals around the campus. This despite traffic calming measures and signs everywhere warning people about horses and asking them to slow down. A couple of drivers got fired – she always felt really bad about that because all she wanted was for people to be educated about why they need to slow down, but I thought it was fair enough (I worked on the same campus and bad drivers were a constant menace to pedestrians and cyclists as well as to animals).

      1. Helka

        Ugh, drivers get so stupid around animals! I used to ride out where our major lesson ring was near a road, and the number of people who got kicks out of driving by and honking while I had a horse out was boggling! Especially since I was a kid at the time. Yes, troll that 10-year-old, you big impressive person you. That is so hilarious.

    2. Joey

      Why oh why do we feel the need to make sure every person is held accountable for every wrong we see? It’s like we take satisfaction in knowing they’ll be punished.

      1. Observer

        I don’t know about “every wrong”. But this kind of driving can actually kill. If holding people accountable makes people drive more carefully, that’s lives saved. (And that doesn’t even touch on the pain and costs of non-fatal incidents linked to this kind of recklessness.)

        1. Joey

          The ops scenario sure just because any road rager following you into a parking lot can be scary, but I wouldn’t have hours left in the day if I called the cops or companies every time I saw someone driving dangerously.

          1. AMG

            Nobody is saying ‘every single time’. But when it’s imminent danger to yourself or someone nearby, it’s the responsible, appropriate thing to do. Why would you not advocate for your own safety or someone else’s who can’t necessarily see it coming yet?

            1. Elizabeth the Ginger

              I’ve never called the cops on a reckless driver, but in this case it was a company van honking, shouting out the window, and accelerating unpredictably to cut people off in busy traffic, and there was a phone number in foot-tall letters on the side. It was too much to resist.

              1. Bea W

                Thank you for reporting that driver. Maybe if more people were called out on unsafe driving, we’d see less of it. There’s no need for this ragey crap on the road. If you want to be a raging buttock exit, do it without putting everyone around you at risk.

          2. CJ

            You often make comments like this, where you point out that you would do things better and differently than the OP. Must be nice to be so perfect.

      2. AMG

        And the issue with holding someone accountable for their behavior and ensuring your own safety is…what exactly? I would absolutely have done the same thing.

        1. Joey

          Safety sure if you truly felt unsafe. But the op seems a little more fixated on the punishment the guy hasn’t received.

          If you were truly only concerned about safety you would let whomever you reported it to handle it as they see fit.

            1. Joey

              I could be misreading, but the fact that the op points out that the guy didn’t get ticketed, that only a police report was filed and ends with “he can’t treat people this way” makes me wonder.

              1. Jamie

                They can’t ticket it because they didn’t see it – that’s the standard most places. But it’s on file which is something, because if someone else gets nervous about this guy yelling and driving dangerously and acting in an aggressive manner the cops will be able to see it’s happened before and act accordingly.

                Once can be an anomaly, if it continues it’s a pattern. This is good information for them to have.

                1. DeadQuoteOlympics

                  After having Active Shooter training on a university campus (more than once), I can say definitively that in the current environment, campus safety and others watch very carefully for escalating patterns of aggression like this. And untenured faculty, adjuncts, and graduate students in particular can be under career-determing stress situations on a regular (in fact yearly) basis. The OP did the smart thing by reporting it.

          1. Beebs

            I wouldn’t call the cops in a mall parking lot, but I probably would call campus security/police on a campus lot. It’s more of a closed system–you’re going to run into that person again if you share a parking garage.

          2. Observer

            Why? If it were just about checking off a list, then sure let the campus police, or whoever handle it as they see fit. But, when it’s “my” safety, I want to make sure that it’s handled in a way that ensures that. If he continues to think he can treat people that way, then he’s probably going to continue the think he can continue to treat ME that way (and possibly worse.)

            The fact also is that police (including campus police) don’t always have the best track record in protecting the safety of women who report issues to them.

      3. Elizabeth the Ginger

        I wouldn’t call a company to “tattle” if I saw a company car parked illegally, or if I saw the driver being rude to the barista at Starbucks, or cutting in line at the grocery store. But a van driving recklessly is a safety hazard to everyone on the road, me included. I have a vested interest in aggressive drivers being held accountable for their actions.

        I also sometimes call the “How’s My Driving?” number on the back of trucks to compliment the drivers if they’re being courteous.

        1. KTM

          My friends and I did this once on a road trip in college. We followed the same truck for hours and they drove well so we called the number when we were getting off at a rest stop and they were continuing on. I think the person who answered the number on the other end almost chuckled a little because I’m sure they rarely get calls for good driving.

      4. alma

        If you were the owner of the company, would you not want people to tell you that your representatives are behaving like dangerous assholes on the road and making your company look bad?

    3. Allison

      I’ll never understand why you’d act like a jerk when driving a company branded vehicle. Even if it’s your company and you have no one to be reported to, you’re really not doing yourself any favors.

      1. Gene

        My normal driving habits are pretty conservative, like I actually stop at STOP signs (and have been rear-ended 4 times in the last 10 years, 3 of those at the same one) and stay within about 5 mph of speed limits in town. When I’m driving the work vehicles, I’m the guy who is holding things up because I stop at yellow lights, drive the speed limit or under, signal every move, etc.

        After a particular crash where someone decided to park from the middle lane and I hit her car so her insurance company sued my employer, I now have a Russian-style windshied camera I put in every time I’m in a work rig. I also run it in my car; if I’m dirving, I’m being recorded. It hasn’t changed my driving to speak of, but it’s there for butt cover if needed.

  4. Bend & Snap

    Yelling at anyone like that is crazy pants, but screaming at a pregnant woman? WTF.

    Be very careful. I feel like he’ll either take the wrist slap and leave you alone, or become completely unhinged. I hope it’s the former.

    Also whyyyyy do people act like that close to their offices? I work for a giant technology campus and once you’re within a mile of it, odds are about 99% that anyone driving near you is an employee. So if you’re driving like a jerk, you’re probably pissing off a coworker.

    My boss has a great story of behavior like this and then the woman actually stole her parking spot…imagine her shock when the woman showed up in a meeting where she was hoping to get my boss’s buy-in on a key project. Boss said she turned white and stuttered.

    Revenge is sweet.

    1. alma

      Yes. This is why I drive like Dudley Do-Right when I’m within a certain range of my office. Out of all the ways I could possibly burn up goodwill at work, this would have to be one of the most dumb and easily avoided.

      1. MaggietheCat

        Yep! Within a reasonable distance of my home and work, it’s like “no, you go first” “clenching my hand not to honk the horn”…

    2. Ann Furthermore

      That is awesome.

      This is not work related, but my mom told me that she was once at the grocery store, and saw a woman illegally park in a handicapped spot, and then get out of her car and stroll into the store. My mom, who is almost 84, does need and legally use handicapped spots, so it really made her mad.

      She went into the store to get her few things, and got into the express check-out lane, and guess who was in line in front of her, with too many items in her cart? There were 2 or 3 other people in front of my mom, and then this obnoxious woman. Someone behind her said, “Hey, I think you’ve got too many things in your cart for this line!” She played dumb. Then my mom said, in a very loud voice, “YES SHE DOES HAVE TOO MANY ITEMS IN HER CART! AND SHE PARKED ILLEGALLY IN A HANDICAPPED SPACE TOO!!” The woman was absolutely mortified.

      1. SandraDee

        I love your mom! My mom would have done that too.

        I had someone yell at me for parking in a handicap space. They did a lot of back pedaling when I got the wheelchair out of the truck, and helped my mother out of the car.

      2. Jamie

        I cannot wait until I’m at the stage in life where I can just say what I’m thinking like this – I want to grow up and be Sophia Petrillo.

        1. madge

          +1. Sophia is my hero (at least, *after* I retire and answer to no one).

          OP, I’m so happy that your workplace is so supportive. Hopefully the other driver is sufficiently shamed and there will be no more incidents.

          1. DP

            Even so, the idea that seeing someone walking from their car means they are not disabled or entitled to a parking permit is a problematic myth to be propagating, whether intentionally implied or not.

            1. Ann Furthermore

              In this case, the person did not have the permit hanging from her mirror (issued in my state when you need temporary access to handicapped spaces), nor did her license plate have the wheelchair symbol on it (issued for permanent access to handicapped spaces). Therefore, she was parked in that spot illegally.

              1. Jamie

                This is the issue. Of course you can’t see all disabilities which is why they issue placards or special plates. I have a relative with one who would totally understand why someone would be pissed if she parked there and didn’t have the placard hanging properly.

                Maybe it’s a Chicago thing since parking here is like the art of war, but we can’t go honor system on those spots or no one who needed one would ever get one again.

          2. Zillah

            Ditto. There are certainly disabilities that are not immediately apparent, but generally, people with disabilities have something on their car designating them as in need of those accommodations.

          3. Helka

            Yep.

            I do have a handicap, but I haven’t gotten a tag/plate — so guess what! I don’t get to use those spaces. Them’s the breaks.

              1. Helka

                Mostly inertia. I had a really bad experience with the specialist my primary care doc sent me to, and haven’t made the effort yet to try hunting up a different one. Most of the time I’m either able to park reasonably close anyway, or I’m with someone who can do drop off/pick up at the curb. And if both those fail me, I just take it slow and easy. It’s a pain (literally), but not insurmountable.

                1. Pennalynn Lott

                  I’ve gotten my handicap placard “prescriptions” from my primary care doc, no specialist needed.

                2. Helka

                  For whatever reason, my primary care doc doesn’t want to do it — probably what I get for going cheap. He keeps insisting I need to see a specialist, and I keep insisting I want one who isn’t a condescending jackhole. What an impasse.

          4. fluffy

            I just got a handicapped tag this summer. Along with it came a warning that I could get a ticket if I drove with it Hanging in a wrong space. So I park, then hang the tag on the mirror, then get out with my 2 canes.

            1. Audiophile

              I never understood that. I’m assuming they feel it will impede your ability to see the road if you drive with it hanging.

              1. Dmented Kitty

                In Minneapolis anything on your rearview mirror or something conspicuous stuck on the middle of the windshield (e.g. GPS mounts) may be written up. I avoided hanging trinkets on my rearview mirror, and I use a vent mount for my smartphone/GPS. Better to keep out of trouble.

                And sometimes if they pull you over for a possible offense and it turns out there wasn’t any — if they’re bored, they’ll use the trinkets on your windshield as an excuse to still issue you a ticket.

    3. Katie (Not the Fed)

      A city where I used to live had a version of this story – someone in a “bro-dozer” (jacked-up truck, common in oil country) was driving like a jerk on the freeway in winter, much like the OP’s aggressor. Came up behind a professor’s car, was obnoxious, passed and then hit the ditch on next curve. Prof stopped to help out (this is Canada, if you didn’t guess already) and surprise! One of his students. Who didn’t come to class for the rest of the term.

      1. voluptuousfire

        You never know what people will say if you’re not obviously “handicapped looking” and park in a handicapped spot. My mom had nerve damage from a car accident in her twenties and that compounded by type 1 diabetes caused her to have issues with her gait and walking too much. Due to that she was able to get a handicapped placard to place in whatever car she was riding in. She stopped driving after awhile and I would take her out on her errands and you would be surprised at how often I got yelled at by random people because I was young and my mom (who was in her 50s at the time) didn’t “look sick.” Ugh. You never know whose battling what.

    4. Graciosa

      Something similar happened where the jerk of a driver was on his way to a job interview. He did not recognize his interviewer as the woman who endured his obnoxious driving en route – but she recognized him.

  5. Malissa

    I would go back to the campus police and ask them to keep an extra eye on your car and about the possibility of getting an escort to and from your car if you feel it’s necessary.

  6. Rachel - HR

    I think it’s important to note that the OP pointed out the man deny the incident and was calm when confronted by campus police about it. I’d remain aware of my surroundings but keep in mind that this individual hasn’t given you any reason to think he’ll do anything further.

  7. Observer

    In a vacuum, it’s reasonable to say that if he did it once, there is reason to think there is a good likelihood that he’d do it again. However, this is NOT in a vacuum. She went to the campus police, and they did tell him to lay off. Also, although he acted like a jerk and an idiot, he didn’t threaten her or seem violent. That combination says that he’s not likely to do anything really drastic – at least not at first.

    I don’t think you need to worry too much at this point. On the other hand, if her DOES give problems again, even if it’s also of this nature (ie not obscene, etc.) you should definitely talk to HR, because then you are dealing with a different kettle of fish. And, if you do wind up with a problem with the guy, you should be very clear with HR, and not let them brush you off. The key is that he continues to bother you even though HE HAS BEEN WARNED BY CAMPUS POLICE. None of the typical excuses, even ones that *might* work under other circumstances works here.

    1. TotesMaGoats

      I tend to agree with this. He didn’t deny it. He was calm when he spoke to the police. I really doubt he’s going to be keying your car or lurking in the parking deck for a confrontation. He may not have even noticed that you were pregnant and I found that usually wards people away in high tension moments.

      1. Helka

        The thing is though, people with explosive tempers can be very calm and reasonable when their temper isn’t up. I’ve dealt with people like this all my life, and once they’re done being angry, it’s like a switch gets flipped off. So “he was calm when he spoke with the police” doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

        1. AnonEMoose

          Also, if he has a tendency to bully, he probably wouldn’t do it to a uniformed police officer. I’m not saying that he does have that tendency, but it’s a possibility. So being calm when he talked to the police officer maybe means something, and maybe doesn’t. It’s difficult to know.

          A slight bug on my part: Why is it somehow “worse” (as some seem to be implying) that he behaved like a jerk to the OP because she’s pregnant? I can kind of see it if she had had someone with her (like a child who was frightened by the behavior, or a vulnerable adult, maybe, for similar reasons).

          But I don’t see her pregnancy as somehow making the behavior worse, except maybe in the general sense that stress isn’t good for a person who is pregnant. But stress also isn’t good for most of us, for one reason or another.

          That said, OP, I’m really glad that the campus police were willing and able to address it with him and that your coworkers are being supportive! I agree with the advice to take some extra care in case he decides to escalate, but hopefully it was a one-time thing.

          1. Helka

            Also, if he has a tendency to bully, he probably wouldn’t do it to a uniformed police officer.

            Also very true! So it’s a datapoint, but it isn’t necessarily indicative either way.

            As for why pregnancy could be an exacerbating factor, The Real Ash asked about that above and there are answers up there. The short version is that being pregnant makes someone physically more vulnerable (impaired in mobility and balance) and more sensitive to threatening situations. So it’s less about “the exact things he did were worse because pregnancy” and more “the threat was more immediate because pregnancy.”

          2. Observer

            Sure. But the fact that he is calm means that he’s capable of rational behavior to some extent. Bullies tend to choose victims who don’t / can’t defend themselves. The OP did effectively defend herself, so if he’s a garden variety bully, he’ll move on to other, greener, pastures.

          3. VintageLydia USA

            Because a pregnant person, particularly in the third trimester, IS a vulnerable adult. They can’t move as fast to escape if things escalate and forget about defending yourself. Think about it like someone with a broken leg who is also holding a newborn. A person who isn’t at 100% peak condition and also protecting another entity who cannot escape on its own.

      2. Student

        The police carry firearms and have broad authority to use them if they feel threatened. Any vaguely sane person tries very hard to speak calmly to police. Lots of terrible criminals, who’ve done much worse than this angry driver, manage to sober up and speak politely to the police. This doesn’t mean anything at all.

        1. The Real Ash

          As someone who works with law enforcement officers and reads police reports for a living, let me tell you that if someone is jacked up on rage, anger, adrenaline, what have you, they will not calm down just because they are talking to a police officer.

        2. Artemesia

          It is the classic behavior of a psychopath that he is charming and reasonable to those in authority. In some ways, it is even more worrisome that a man can be foaming at the mouth and using his car to harass a woman on the road and then be relaxed and calm and ever so reasonable when talking to the police (we all know how hysterical the ladies can get after all, over nothing much.)

          1. The Real Ash

            Let’s not diagnose people we don’t know over the Internet. We have no idea if this person is a legitimate psychopath (which s a serious diagnosis that has to meet stringent criteria) based on one isolated incident.

  8. TBoT

    This reminds me of the (much less scary than this story) time I stopped at a large intersection very near my workplace, where people routinely blocked traffic by entering the intersection when there was no room for them on the other side, then getting stuck blocking the cross street once the light changed. That morning, I stopped even though the light was still green because there was no room, so that I wouldn’t block the intersection for the cars on the cross street when it turned.

    The car behind me kept creeping up closer, then whipped around to pass me in the right, go through the intersection, and stop with his car completely blocking the intersecting lanes … and when he passed, I saw that it was a coworker from my workplace.

    Traffic started moving again before the light turned red, so I went through and we wound up in the same elevator to go up to our floor. He had also recognized me as he passed me and was *extremely sheepish* about it.

    1. stellanor

      The other week my coworker cut me off to run a red light and make a completely illegal turn. She didn’t notice me even though my car is pretty distinctive. I totally ribbed her about it when we both got to our desks, though. I kind of hope she’ll think twice before doing that again even if it’s just because omg stellanor may be watching.

  9. Ani

    I would consider filing a report with the local police. Though this is not, for example, a rape on campus, it is threatening to a woman (and a pregnant woman at that). College campuses notoriously and questionably attempt to keep complaints of violence against women especially — but also other forms of violence — purely within their jurisdiction rather than bringing in any other authorities that really should be consulted.

    1. The Real Ash

      Why should she file a report with the local police? The OP already said the guy probably didn’t know she was pregnant (which has nothing to do with this situation, the guy has his crazy pants firmly belted on), he didn’t physically threaten her or her vehicle. He responded calmly to campus police (who dealt with the situation) and the OP says she doesn’t fear for her safety. Why involve the police?

      1. Ani

        Because she feels threatened. See below. Two days later he pulled into the pregnant women’s parking space and caused an accident, and though this is now twice she’s on the third time going to call the police. (That seems quite generous of her to me, too generous in fact. But that’s me.)

        1. The Real Ash

          If you had read the story, you would see he pulled into it because he had been in an accident and was waiting for the police.

          1. Mephyle

            Not quite the whole story. Quoting from OP, Roadrage Rodney had turned into the Expectant Mother spot, realized it was reserved, and hit another car as he was backing out of it. His decision to park in OP’s spot in the first place was made before the accident happened. Sheer coincidence?

    2. Another J

      I think that depends on the campus itself. Our campus police are licensed by the state and they can and do arrest people and take them to the city jail. Their jurisdiction does not end once you are off campus. This always surprises team fans from a rival university who think that they can simply step off the campus and the campus police are then powerless to follow and arrest them as they are at their home university. Those game days have interesting police reports after the game.

      1. AnonEMoose

        The campus police department was (and is) actually a police department where I went to college, too. Fully licensed officers, etc. Due to working for a security program on campus when I was a student, I got to know some of them. I’d get some pretty odd looks from my fellow students when the officers would roll by in the squad car and wave.

    3. Sarah

      Unfortunately local police probably won’t do anything. I was recently chased and run off the road while on my bicycle by a woman driving a giant truck. She was mad that I’d shouted “Hey” as she pulled out without looking and almost hit me. She called me every name in the book and then threatened to call the cops on ME (?!?!). I made it away from her safely and tried to make a police report, for menacing with a vehicle or aggressive driving, something like that. The dispatcher said she couldn’t do anything since it was just “road rage” and that the woman hadn’t left her vehicle to threaten me (um, she threatened me WITH her vehicle!). She didn’t even want to take the woman’s description or license plate number. I sadly have doubts your local police force would be able to do anything after the fact, especially since no injuries were incurred.

  10. FormerHigherEdManager

    I once had a new hire who reportedly tailgated and threatened a colleague in another department at our university. I didn’t know her, but it was a department with which we worked closely. She wrote down his plate number, found his car in our lot and contacted my manager (she didn’t know whose staffer it was) who then asked me to speak to my employee about it. I wasn’t sure what to say because it didn’t happen *at* work although I was alarmed at the story. I also didn’t know how much stock to put in the other person’s report since I didn’t know her at all. In retrospect, I should have contacted HR? When I broached the subject with my staffer he was immediately defensive, asking “why are we even having this conversation, it doesn’t pertain to work.” I responded that we needed to maintain good working relationships with our colleagues in this critical department and this person had a perception that he was threatening her so maybe he could send her an email apologizing. A day later, another colleague approached me (word had got around but not through me) to say my staffer had done the same thing to HER on the road. My staffer was ultimately let go for performance issues — but it was a bit of relief to not have to worry about another road rage incident.

    1. Observer

      Interesting. If I knew that someone on my staff had a pattern of such incidents, I would absolutely be keeping a very close eye on him. Clearly someone with very bad judgement, at best. The defensiveness and trying to make it not your business makes it worse.

      Actually, it also makes me think that’s another reason it’s a good thing that OP’s story got around – If this guy were really in the habit of pulling this stuff, it’s highly likely that someone will wind up coming up with another story or two.

  11. SerfinUSA

    Just keep an eye out for car damage.
    Also, if this person is faculty, there might be some code of conduct in their agreement/contract that you could invoke.

  12. GrumpyBoss

    People get into their cars and lose half of their IQ points. I’m of the opinion that anyone who behaves this way on company property should be reprimanded the same way as they would if the exchange happened in the hallway. In other words, this should have resulted in some type of HR action, or looped in his manager, etc.

    1. Artemesia

      In the city I lived in most of my career there was an incident where a woman left the scene of an accident after a guy who had been tail gating her crashed his car and was beheaded by the seatbelt — the head ended up in the intersection and she ended up with blood on her car. It was first reported as ‘they were racing’ and an all points was out for her as the guilty driver.

      Over the course of investigation it turned out that this guy had a reputation of running people off the road and harassing other drivers. The woman who fled the scene said he had been tailgating and bumping her car and she was afraid he would run her off the road (and that she was unaware of the seriousness of the accident) Then all sorts of other people came forward with stories of how he had done similar things to them. I think the woman ended up not being charged and there was a sort of sigh of relief that at least karma had visited the right person.

      People who do this sort of thing tend to do this sort of thing; anything really aggressive is unlikely to be a one off.

      1. Katie (Not the Fed)

        Beheaded by the seatbelt??!! It’s fortunate for her mental well-being that she didn’t stick around to see that happen.

        1. Katie (not the Fed)

          Er, see it happen, as the blood on the car indicates she was obviously present. Sentencing myself to reading comprehension drills now.

          1. Artemesia

            I am not sure she actually saw it as she was in a panic trying to get away from him — but yeah — grossest accident ever.

        2. Not So NewReader

          He had at to have been going very fast and stopped very suddenly for that to happen. I can’t imagine. Safety belts are made of tough material, though. We used some scrap safety belt material to skid a 20 inch log over a half mile of roadway. The belt material was fine.

  13. M. in Austin!

    OP, could you request a new parking spot? Maybe even just moving to a different deck would be sufficient? That way he probably wouldn’t see your car and you won’t bump into him.

  14. Poohbear McGriddles

    If it’s been a good week or so and he hasn’t done anything else, there’s a good chance he decided to “Let It Go” after his chat with Campus Police.
    Sure, he knows who you are and where you park, but more importantly you (and the CP) know who HE is. So the next time Roadrage Radney goes tailgating people near campus he will already have one strike against him.

  15. anon

    Thankfully the metro area here has tons and tons of multilane roads running parallel. But when I visit a national park, there are often single lane or one-way roads. Out of respect (and asked by the posted signs) I will pull over when a driver is close behind. It is simply being polite.

    1. Hous

      I grew up in a small town with almost entirely single-lane streets, and this was never part of any driving etiquette I learned. I imagine in National Parks it’s commonly sign-posted because some number of people are moving slowly to enjoy the scenery, but coming from somewhere without multiple lanes, I would never expect a slower driver to pull over unless there are actual areas for them to do so (which, again, in my experience, is mostly on scenic routes, not on commuter roads).

      Also, I can’t really accept that the person who doesn’t pull over for someone who’s tail-gating them is the one who’s being “impolite.” Tail-gating is awful.

  16. Dan

    I’m fine with the law enforcement contact, to me it doesn’t matter what branch.

    But the “do I go to HR” question opens up a much bigger conversation: At what point does “work” govern the interaction between two people, and when does it not? Does any interaction, no matter how far away from work or work related activities, fall under the pervue of HR? There does have to be some separation between work and home, and I’m curious where it actually lies.

    The funny thing is, work can fire you for no reason whatsoever, so part of that question is academic. But it’s very rare to see non-termination disciplinary action taken for no reason whatsoever.

    1. Helka

      Well, at least part of this altercation took place on work grounds (on campus) so I would say this definitely falls on the side of “someone at work should know!”

      But your larger point is well-taken, and I think the line comes in as part of a judgment call of “How likely is this to spill over into work interactions?” Because that’s really what HR probably cares about the most.

    2. Brittany

      I think the distinction lies in that the confrontation began off-campus with the tailgating but then continued onto the academic property. I would argue that once something like that takes place on company or school property, it automatically becomes that property’s problem and business. If this had all happened on the highway, HR or anyone in a manager position may want to be informed but otherwise, it wouldn’t apply, but in that case if it became overly hostile or confrontational you’d be calling the police.

      1. Not So NewReader

        I was always told “company property”. It does not matter if I am on the clock or off the clock. That made sense to me because safety for everyone is primary.

    3. Sarahnova

      I don’t think the goal of going to HR (or the OP’s manager) is to have the employee fired or internally disciplined; it’s so that they’re pre-warned if the OP should have any more trouble with this individual, either through his trying to harass/intimidate/punish her through the organisational hierarchy or just plain old harass, stalk, or otherwise scare or threaten her. That would require their involvement and support.

      1. Dan

        You mean like a suspended sentence? Perhaps a better choice of words is “establish a paper trail” ;) A series of minor incidents, while insignificant on their own, can aggregate to something much more serious.

        Granted, once I did rat out a manager who was a complete dick. What I told HR is that I don’t care what you do about it, I can be a big boy and suck it up, but the next time someone complains about his behavior, you can’t pull the “Oh, it must be you, because we never heard that complain before” card.

        HR’s comment to me (HR and old manager shared a wall at one point) was “I was wondering what all that yelling and screaming was about yesterday.”

    4. Eliza Jane

      What’s interesting about this is that in a sense, campus police are another department of the same “work” environment: they also are employed by the university. If a threatening incident took place in the lobby of your office building, enough that you had to contact security, would you feel it necessary to also tell HR? I’m not sure what my answer is, but I think this is an odd case, and different from how the same question would be handled if it were municipal police who had been involved.

      1. Dan

        My company is HUGE. Huge in the sense that my campus has a few thousand people in it; huge in the sense that it’s the most amount of people I’ve had to be around from the same employer at any given time. Also huge in the sense that I’ll never get to know everybody.

        If I had an incident with someone who I didn’t know or didn’t recognize, I think I’d report it to security and leave it at that. I just don’t know what I’d expect HR to do. At a company this size, we have several levels of HR, and the HR people I know don’t work cross-division. Sure, the HR folk probably know each other, but still, I don’t know what I expect them to *do*.

        Now, my feelings were totally different when it’s a person I see every day, and we all have the same HR people (think small company.) Granted, I still don’t know what I’d expect HR to actually *do* but it feels more natural to “tell.” At the same time, if it’s a person I see regularly, I’m less apt to “tell” for a somewhat minor one-off incident. (I’m not saying anything about the OP’s situation. But if I know the person, the threshold for “telling” is higher.)

        But in a situation where I don’t know the person and never see them? I just don’t know what outcome I expect.

    5. neverjaunty

      “Threatening harm/physically endangering your co-workers anywhere” falls pretty clearly on the side of the line that work needs to care about, to the point that where the line actually might be drawn is a wholly academic question.

  17. OP

    I thought I’d post an update to the story since I first emailed Alison…

    Two business days after this happened, I pulled into my deck to find “Roadrage Rodney” (love that – thanks!) parked in my reserved spot, standing alongside his car. I was freaked out and immediately turned around; I didn’t notice that there was another driver pulled over to the side as well. Turns out Roadrage Rodney had turned into the Expectant Mother spot, realized it was reserved, and hit another car as he was backing out of it.

    The officer on the scene was the same one who I had worked with a few days prior, so he was aware of the previous incident. He assured me it was just a coincidence that the guy tried to park there, and that he hadn’t known it was reserved… At this point, I’m allowing this one coincidence (mainly because I feel like I don’t have any other choice), but if Roadrage Rodney comes near me in any way again, I’ll be escalating the issue with the police and contacting HR. At the very least, I remind myself that campus police MUST have this guy on their radar, given that he’s been the cause of two situations in a matter of days.

    Hopefully it won’t come to that, but I echo all the other responses: drive nicely all the time, but especially around your workplace!

    1. anon

      OP, as I mentioned above and as many many road signs (perhaps not on your road) do, it’s courtesy to allow faster vehicles to pass.

      1. The Real Ash

        Where do you live that there are signs saying “Allow crazy people who are tailgating you and doing above the speed limit to pass so you don’t get yelled at”? Also this is in no way the OP’s fault that the guy decided to be an asshole that day.

        1. anon

          http://www.sterlinghwysvt.com/turnouts.htm
          http://colonialhomekeepings.blogspot.com/2013/10/life-in-slow-vehicle-turnout-lane.html
          http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.austlii.edu.au%2Fau%2Flegis%2Fsa%2Fconsol_reg%2Fimages%2F1999.219.un147.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmeganbostic.blogspot.com%2F2012_04_01_archive.html&h=261&w=264&tbnid=72opUAyDpSpukM%3A&zoom=1&docid=XidSNXyXN5lGHM&ei=bgcOVOPuGsyNyATXp4D4AQ&tbm=isch&ved=0CFkQMyg1MDU&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=387&page=2&start=39&ndsp=49

          1. s

            The fact that slow vehicle turn out lanes exist in some parts of the country is absolutely irrelevant to the OP’s story. Also, your first link specifically states, in italics for emphasis: “If a vehicle is going the speed limit, it is not a slow vehicle. ” So even if the OP was on a road with these signs, legally, since she was going the speed limit, she’s would not have been required to use them. Furthermore, even if she was considered a slow vehicle (she was not), and if she was on a road with turn outs (she was not), the fact that the road rage guy decided to verbally harass her after she had pulled into her parking space is sufficient enough to be considered inappropriate and threatening.

            1. Mike C.

              Speaking generally, this doesn’t matter in many states. Keep right except to pass means keep right except to pass.

              1. Katie (not the Fed)

                I agree, but I am confused as to how we went from talking about “slow vehicle turn-out” signs to “Keep right except to pass” signs. Speed limit is a factor in the use of the former whereas the latter is a matter of relative velocity.

              2. M. in Austin!

                I know a lot of people don’t agree with me on this, but I feel that if you are driving the speed limit, you are perfectly fine to be in the left lane. I’m not moving to the right lane to get stuck behind someone going 10 under just so the jerk behind me can speed and drive recklessly. If I’m moving faster than the people on the right while doing the speed limit, I’m staying in the left lane. People need to SLOW DOWN.

                1. Mike C.

                  If you’re moving past traffic in the right lane, then you’re already keeping right except to pass. If you’re just sitting there pacing the car next to you, you’re creating a ton of congestion behind you and in some states violating the laws.

                  Just because someone is speeding does not mean they are driving recklessly. Even then, that is for the police to take care of, not you. Violating one law to prevent someone from violating another when both are minor civil matters doesn’t work.

                2. Katie the Fed

                  Eh, if you’re driving the speed limit on the Beltway, you’re slowing down traffic because you’re probably 10-15 mph slower than everyone else. And you WILL cause accidents/problems if you’re driving the speed limit in the left lane.

                  You may be correct in what SHOULD be ok, but the reality is that it would be very dangerous to do that here.

                3. Us, Too

                  Note that your behavior is illegal in Texas unless you are passing vehicles on the right when you are doing the speed limit in the left lane. The left lane is a passing lane in Texas.

                4. Us, Too

                  I’ll also note that I can’t remember the last time my Austin rush hour commute included speeds anywhere approaching the speed limit. I spend the vast majority of my time with my foot on the brake, frankly. I WISH I had this issue. LOL.

                5. Anx

                  Are you talking about highways or more congested areas?

                  I will go in the left lane and then not speed if I have an upcoming left and I anticipate difficulty changing lanes safely.

          1. Helka

            That’s for vehicles going significantly under the speed limit (ie construction equipment), not people driving the speed limit.

            Dangerous drivers do not deserve to be catered to.

              1. TL

                That hasn’t been my experience on city roads. On highways and major thoroughfares with stoplights well spaced apart, absolutely, but on smaller city roads and even university roads, people are generally within 5 miles of the speed limit.

              2. M. in Austin!

                That doesn’t matter. OP was driving the speed limit, she does not need to speed up (and put herself at risk) to satisfy another driver. It sounds like there was no place for the OP to pull over without stopping (she says two lane road, but I think she means one lane going each direction).

                1. Not So NewReader

                  This. The roads at the school I went to were very narrow. You could not pull over and get out of the way. The passing car would still have to go into the on-coming lane to pass the stopped vehicle.

              3. Oryx

                Except that doesn’t change the fact that a car going the speed limit is not slow. They are actually doing what they are supposed to be doing and it’s everyone else technically breaking the law by going above the speed limit.

            1. Julia

              They may not deserve to be catered to but I would personally rather let them get far away from me!

              I tend to move over and let other drivers go because I have no idea what could be causing them to be upset. It could be anything from an attack of pain to them just being nuts. No need for me to judge.

              1. Jamie

                This for me, too. I hate that it rewards bad behavior but as my mom always said, you want those kind of people in front of you rather than behind you.

                From the letter it seemed like it was a one lane each way deal – if there is no where to go, there’s no where to go – I wouldn’t let someone force me into driving dangerously fast but would find the first available spot to pull over. This would really freak me out though – road rage is no joke. I had a close family member smacked in the face with a tire iron for inadvertently cutting someone off – at least that was the reason the rager gave the cops. My husband has had to stop on the way to work more than once to intervene is road rage incidents between other drivers.

                There are really dangerous people out there and I don’t know what it is about driving that makes some lose all control.

                1. Dmented Kitty

                  I agree. If I’m comfortably passing vehicles in the left lane fairly within the limit but there’s an a-hole dangerously tailgating me because he wants to go way beyond the speed limit, I just sneak back into the next lane when I get an opening and let him pass. It’s tempting to get into this race and make life difficult for him, but I always think that if he gets into an accident it’ll be on his own terms, leave me out of it. Let a-holes be a-holes.

                  There was one troll driver who wanted to sneak into my lane from my right — I slowed down to let him switch lanes, but it took him too long to decide (read: signal is flashing but he’s not making his move) — I just decided to speed up and go on with my life. Apparently he took it personally.

                  At one point I had to switch into his lane, and I ended up behind him. He recognized me, and deliberately slowed down below the speed limit so I can’t really do anything (the other lanes are getting congested at this point). I could see him grinning, glancing at me from time to time from his rearview. I just kept on behind him, realizing he’s a troll, but I just didn’t react because I thought trolls just do that to get a reaction. He then put his arm out of the car and waved at me, still going slow. Eh — I just kept a poker face and followed behind him until I let another car get between me and him and he went his own way. I just thought I wouldn’t stoop to his level. Although I wished I did a little exaggerated yawn at his efforts.

          2. Chinook

            “slow vehicle pull/turn out?”

            The only place I see those are in the mountains where there are 2 lane highways. They usually put in that 3rd lane on the way up the hill in case your vehicle is having issues getting up the hill and/or the person behind you is using the downhill momentum to their advantage (there are also “evacuation lanes” with dead ends and water buckets at the end in case your breaks have issues). These are wonderful when you get stuck behind a logging truck because it essentially gives you a passing lane.

        2. Mike C.

          I make this statement with the intent that the OP deserves nothing of what happened to her, nor is she to blame in any way for what happened. In fact, not knowing the roads or state the OP was traveling in, I cannot nor will I speculate as to the legality of this particular instance as it pertains to the OP.

          In many states, “Keep right except to pass” is the law of the land. It doesn’t matter how fast the person behind is traveling, and in those states traveling under the speed limit in the passing lane is also illegal. (RCW 46.61.100 for Washington State folks)

          These laws generally apply to state and federal high/freeways, including major arterials. Even if you are going the speed limit, you will be ticketed (and rightly so) because you are impeding and congesting traffic.

          Again, I’m speaking generally and not as it pertains to the OP specifically.

          1. Observer

            Sounds like OP was was one of those slow pokes driving the speed limit when everyone else is going 10+ over on their way to work… impeding and congesting traffic.

            1. Observer - the first

              Please note that there are now apparently two of us using the same name. I have been using “Observer” a long as I I’ve been following this blog, but as of getters evening there is a new one.

      2. Episkey

        I live in the United States and I have never seen a sign along the road that says anything along the lines of allowing tailgating cars to pass you by pulling over. I have seen signs along highways/expressways that say something like “Slower traffic to the right,” but only on highways and the signs are more directed to semi trucks that inherently drive slower.

        1. anon

          They are very very common in national parks where you have two lane (one each way) or one-way roads. You can google for the signs if you don’t believe me.

          1. Episkey

            I was going to post the same as The Real Ash —

            You’re talking about one lane roads in national parks? OK, then, that is not anywhere near the same as this situation.

            The OP is driving on normal roads and then on-campus at a university/college. How many college campuses have you been to with signs indicating such? I’ve been on several and I can assure you I’ve never seen such a thing.

              1. Episkey

                There are many, many “two lane curvy” roads around without being in a national park and with no such signage. Also, I now think you are just being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. :)

              2. De Minimis

                I have spent a good portion of my life in areas where most of the highways are “two lane curvy roads.” I have never seen a sign telling people to pull off on the shoulder to let people by. The only place I’ve ever seen anything like that is in Yosemite National Park, and even then I think it was only for designated spots.

                1. Mike C.

                  In Washinton state, if you have five+ vehicles behind you, you’re required to pull over, regardless of your speed.

                2. fposte

                  I’m presuming this is more a reason for a stop than something a motorist would reasonably be expected to be assessing and counting.

              3. TL

                I grew up in rural Texas, where there’s lots of roads like you describe, and have spent a fair amount of time in New Mexico, where there’s more of them. I have seen roads widen briefly into 2-lanes one way and 1-way the other, to let people pass, but I have never seen a sign saying to pull over and let people pass.

                1. De Minimis

                  That being said, I have seen people decide to pull off on their own and let others pass, but never a sign instructing them to do so. I think it actually isn’t the safest practice.

                2. ThursdaysGeek

                  In Washington, we have many rural highways that have signs for slower drivers to pull off to let others pass, but there are also designated pull over areas on the road. (If you’re impeding more than 5 or so drivers, you’re required to pull over, but many slow drivers ignore that.)

                  And NONE of that is material, because that is for drivers going slower than the speed limit, almost always on a highway where the overall speed limit is 50 mph or more. If you’re impeding drivers who want to speed, there is no obligation to pull over. I will sometimes do so, simply because drivers who speed and tailgate are generally jerks, and I’d rather not have them too close to my car.

                3. Us, Too

                  Texas law requires that the left lane be used ONLY for passing. There are signs stating literally that (“LEFT LANE FOR PASSING ONLY”) on most multi-lane roadways. Rural areas may not have enough multi-lane roads to have these, of course. But the law here is that you move out of the way if you are not passing in the left lane.

              4. jag

                Except that it doesn’t have slow traffic pullout signs and is a place or work and not recreation then yeah, it’s pretty much exactly the same thing. For sure.

              5. Observer

                It doesn’t make a difference. She wasn’t in a national park, and this is NOT common (if it even exists) outside of national parks. That’s aside from the fact that only an idiot responds to a slow car by tailgating and trying to pass on a curvy, two lane, two road. There is a reason that we don’t allow toddlers to drive, you know.

          2. TL

            It depends entirely on the location and the road. Sometimes it’s just not safe to pass and if you’re stuck being a combine going 25 mph – when the speed limit’s 65 mph – you’re stuck behind the combine and you deal. Sometimes there’s no shoulder. Sometimes it’s not safe to get into the oncoming lane, even just a little bit, because you have no visibility. Sometimes the speed limit is too high to feel comfortable pulling over just so some jackass can pass you. Two lane (one way each way) roads can be very dangerous and it’s not actually a good idea to pull over and let people pass unless you have a specific reason to, good visibility, and room to move off the road if necessary.

            That being said, when people tailgate me, if I can do so without impeding traffic, I slow down until I’m at a speed I feel is reasonable for their following distance – I almost ended up a pancake one time due to a slew of tailgaitors, a stupidly impatient left-turning car, and a 2-lane road. Tailgaiting is dangerous.

            1. Anx

              The thing I hate most about being tailgated is that I don’t want to have to drive under the speed limit (unless whether or traffic necessitates it), but then I have to slow down to reach a safer following limit. It’s so frustrating. If you want to break the law and speed, break the law and pass me illegally then speed.

        2. Mike C.

          No law or practice allows for tailgating, but those keep right signs generally apply to all vehicles. If you are slower than other traffic, then you keep to the right whether you’re in a Fiat 500 or a Mack truck.

          1. Episkey

            I agree. I just meant that I’ve only seen those signs on a highway and feel they generally apply to semis that only drive at the speed limit, while most smaller cars are driving above the limit on a highway.

            But definitely — if you only feel comfy driving 55 mph on I-94 outside of Chicago in your Honda Acura, you should ABSOLUTELY be in the right lane lol.

          2. Elsajeni

            Sure, but I think “keep right except to pass” is distinct from “pull onto the shoulder to allow others to pass” — if you’re driving on a two-lane road, in the only lane going in your direction, you are already keeping as far to the right as possible. I know you said above that you’re speaking generally and not about the OP’s specific situation, but I think her description of the road actually rules her situation out of this more general discussion, anyway — she would have had to pull onto the shoulder (assuming there was one) to let this guy pass, which may be courteous but is rarely, if ever, actually required.

            1. De Minimis

              It’s the next day and I know I should just let it drop, but I really wish people had not started talking about the “keep right except to pass” thing. That’s for roads with more than one lane going in each direction. It doesn’t apply to this type of road, and it’s really has nothing to do with the OP’s situation.

              All I can figure is many readers here live in areas where multilane highways/roads are the norm and aren’t familiar with this type of roadway.

        3. Windchime

          We have signs in Washington that say “Delay of more than 5 vehicles illegal”. So yeah, if there is a slowpoke going under the speed limit, no place to pass, and s/he has more than 5 cars stacked up behind them, that’s a ticket waiting to happen. I don’t know that I’ve ever *seen* it happen but it’s a Thing.

          1. Mike C.

            They can be traveling the speed limit as well and still have to pull over in areas where the law is in effect.

          2. kd

            I love this! I drive 80 miles round trip to work in NJ. Home of bad drivers – only surpassed by MA drivers ;) I can only imagine (dream about) what this sort of law would do here. But then again, it would need to be enforced.

            If you think you can hang out in the ‘fast’ lane doing the legal speed limit with a line of cars behind you, then you are in for a learning experience. I am not condoning the bad behavior, but you need to keep right – period. It is not for an individual to decide who is following the law – it is for law enforcement to enforce the rules. I don’t see too many of them tangling with rush hour traffic speed.

            Rush hour traffic is normally 10 -15 mph over the legal limit. If someone is tailgating me, no matter what speed – I pull to the right. I like living. No need to get panties in a twist.

      3. OfficePrincess

        If you’re doing under the speed limit and holding up traffic, by all means, let other drivers pass. When the “slower” driver is doing the speed limit and the faster driver is behaving erratically and almost causes an accident with another vehicle, you owe them nothing.

        1. Mike C.

          I’m speaking generally, but it’s much safer to just let them pass. They’re get away from you, and it will give your passenger a clear view of their license plate when you call the police on them. Otherwise they’re going to start escalating their bad behavior, and you’ll get hurt.

          Deescalation is almost always the best and safest strategy.

          1. Lsmith2104

            Agreed. Very well put. Another Chicago driver here. Just let them pass, why let the situation escalate?

          2. Katie the Fed

            Agreed. If you go to a place like Egypt or India, both of which are absolutely terrifying places to drive or be in a car, you’ll realize traffic actually flows pretty well because most people allow faster traffic to move around them. So if someone comes up on your tail, they flash their lights, you move over, they go on about their business – nobody gets upset or ragey. It’s just how it’s done.

            Now when you add the cows, stray dogs, pedestrians, bicyclists, family of 5 on a motorbike, etc, then it gets a little more interesting.

          3. Observer

            Well, it’s safer to let them pass if it’s safe at all. But on the kind of road the OP describes, it may not really be possible or safe. Where was she supposed to pull over to?

            1. Mike C.

              As I mentioned above, I’m speaking generally and I don’t have enough information to make a judgement call on the OP except to say that it isn’t her fault and she doesn’t deserve what happened to her.

          4. Traveler

            Agreed – way safer for everyone involved if this is possible. It’s unfair, and I know some people will feel like this is conceding in someway, but I’d much rather have the crazy person away from a spot where they could ram my car.

      4. alma

        Your example of road signs telling people to pull off the road was from a national park, (presumably) not a road people are using to commute to work on a university campus. Certainly there may be cases where those two things overlap, but for the most part, the “pull over” rule at national parks exists to accommodate people who are sightseers versus those who need to keep moving. For most people, it’s in no way practical to pull over for every single person on the morning commute who wants to go faster than you.

        Moreover, OP stated that she was traveling at the speed limit. Look, anyone who’s ever ridden shotgun with me will testify to how aggravated I can get when the person in front of me isn’t going fast enough. But unless the person is going well below the speed limit, that feeling of aggravation isn’t backed up by any actual right of way. The speed limit is the maximum you’re supposed to be traveling, not the minimum.

        And finally, your comment seems like a bit of a non sequitur to the OP’s update, in which she and Rage Guy were not traveling anywhere near each other on the road.

          1. alma

            … And on some roads, signs tell you specifically NOT to pull over because there’s no shoulder or because it impedes traffic. We don’t know, and your increasing fixation on national park roads is starting to derail the OP’s question.

            You are also edging a little bit towards victim-blaming by fixating on what you think she “should” have done (which was by no means out of the range of normal driving) as if that has any bearing on the aggressive overreaction by her coworker.

            1. Katie the Fed

              this.

              While it’s a fun rhetorical exercise to discuss how to drive in various situations, in THIS situation it was neither feasible (no turnoff area) or advisable (on a campus full of pedestrians) to pull off to allow an impatient driver to pass.

        1. De Minimis

          I’ve seen those type of signs before, those are for a very specific type of driving situation that just doesn’t exist in most places in the US. The OP was not in a national park or on some mountain road. She was most likely on a highway or city street and then in a parking garage.

          I drive rural highways as part of my daily commute, and no one pulls over to let other people by. It’s the responsibility of the person who wants to pass to do so safely, or if they can’t, to follow at a reasonable distance. I get behind slow drivers sometimes and get irritated, but I think pulling off to the shoulder and then pulling back on is creating a traffic hazard.

      5. Observer

        Not when you are at the posted speed limit. And, even if she wasn’t “courteous enough” what kind of idiot tries to pass on a narrow curbed road?

        Sorry, this is EXACTLY the kind of gaslighting I was talking about.

      6. jag

        No, it’s not a courtesy. It’s an exceptional thing as demonstrated by the need for and rareness of the sign you linked to later on is this discussion.

        And in most situations, the concept behind it (that fast traffic has a right of way over slower traffic or is more important) is bogus . That’s not right and is probably a contributor to both road rage and accidents.

        On multi-lane roads, slower traffic should keep right. That’s all.

      7. Poohbear McGriddles

        The OP stated that it was a two-lane, curvy road. Not the ideal place to be pulling over.

        On another topic, the OP also stated that RRR told the police he was aware of the car she was driving and what spot it was parked in. Maybe he just missed the Reserved sign that time, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he tried to park there two days later.

        1. Anne

          “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he tried to park there two days later”

          I had that same though too – it seemed strange to me that he parked in the spot he had seen OP go into just a few days earlier (and somehow missed the signage until he was already in the spot??). It struck me as possibly another attempt at intimidation – she inconvenienced him by reporting the RR incident to campus police, so he tried to inconvenience her by taking her parking spot!

          1. Jamie

            I don’t know – if he didn’t know it was reserved until he pulled in he could just as easily thought he got lucky. Unreserved spots are up for grabs in any parking structure I’ve been in. So if he did it on purpose then he knew it was reserved for expectant mothers – then why would he have been pulling out?

      8. Ani

        Please, going the posted limit on campus is not a situation calling for “allow faster vehicles to pass.” Seriously.

        1. DeadQuoteOlympics

          Seriously — given the propensity of students to blithely step out without looking, anyone going over the speed limit on campus is asking for trouble. I used to routinely get behind our previous college president when she left work. She always drove a few miles under the speed limit, I would guess because she could imagine the headlines if she hit an oblivious student while going over the speed limit. That’s a career-ending lapse of judgement.

          1. De Minimis

            At my alma mater, the president actually DID hit a student one morning! He was not driving fast and no one was hurt–he claimed the sun was in his eyes and he couldn’t see.

      9. April

        “it’s a courtesy to allow faster vehicles to pass”
        Anon, if the faster vehicle is exceeding the speed limit, there is no reason in the world that you need to let them pass. Since when does courtesy require aiding or abetting lawbreakers?

      10. De Minimis

        Sorry, you’re wrong. I drive those type of roads all the time and that is not common courtesy or a common practice. In fact, many times it’s unsafe and probably illegal.

    2. Helka

      Yikes! I agree that it could be coincidence, but boy, I wouldn’t blame you for being pretty nervous about this by now. That’s scary as heck. (Also, this guy hitting someone pulling out of a spot doesn’t speak much for the idea of him being a usually safe driver who had a bad day.)

      1. Jamie

        That’s what I was thinking – looks like this guy needs to a take a deep breath and start thinking before he acts.

        OP, if anything else happens don’t just leave it to campus police – let the town police know as well. Hopefully this was a coincidence and this is the end of it, but please walk to and from your car with someone until this has passed or you have the baby and can once again park where you like.

        I really hope he’s just an oblivious jackass, because what kind of bully would harass a pregnant stranger? Not a reputation most men want to have around their work place.

    3. alma

      Ooooh. Call me tinfoil-hatty, but it’s hard not to think he wanted to take “your” spot as a way of getting the last word. And then he hit someone else!! Unbelievable.

      1. KTM

        That’s exactly what I was thinking. He went to go park in OP’s spot as a little ‘screw you’ then realized it was a reserved space and had to back out.

        1. Clerica

          I tend to agree. A reserved spot like this is almost certainly really close to an exit, just like a handicapped spot. There are certain spots that are just obviously too good to be true if they’re open; you know they must be reserved. I find it hard to believe that, not knowing it was reserved, this just happened to be the first time he decided “What the heck, I think I’ll park really close and save myself the walking.”

          And that he had absolutely no idea it was the exact same spot he’d bullied a woman at a few days prior. Even if he’s a jerk to so many people that he can’t keep the incidents straight, you know every time he passed that spot it became “That c-word’s who called the cops on me.”

    4. Gracie

      So he’s a jerk AND a crappy driver! Nice. I hope that’s the last you’ve seen of him for a good while.

    5. BadPlanning

      The coincidence seems pretty…close to home. But I suppose the deck might fill up pretty fast and he thought he got lucky with an empty, close spot?

    6. Observer

      I’m having a very hard time believing that this was just coincidence. The good part of this is that he’s put himself back on the campus police radar again. But, it is quite scary at this point. You are right to be ready to escalate. And do be careful, please!

    7. Another J

      Wow – I think this guy has used all his karma up with the campus police. JMO, if there is one more incident, I am willing to think they will not let it pass.

    8. neverjaunty

      Wow, no, not a coincidence. He just HAPPENED to be trying to park in your space? One incident might be a bad day cured by police intervention; coming in the next day to deliberately park in your spot (thwarted only because he found out it was a reserved space) means he was still pissed the next day.

      Go to HR. It’s not going to be a “coincidence” if Rodney sabotages or keys your car. “I do not feel safe using my designated parking spot at work” is a very big deal.

  18. Student

    Your safety and comfort is more important than getting back at this crazy driver. I strongly suggest you take some avoidance measures for a little while.

    As long as it won’t interfere with your job, just start leaving 5-10 minutes earlier in the day. If that won’t work, take an alternate route. If that won’t work, and you encounter him again, just pull over and let him pass you. I know it’s frustrating and feels like you’re rewarding bad behavior – try to think of it more like stepping out of the path of a bullet.

    If you weren’t pregnant, I’d suggest doing this for ~1 month before trying your normal routine again. Since you are, I’d say do it until you feel safe and comfortable. If I were you, I’d probably alter my commuting habit until the due date, because I’d be paranoid about getting into an accident while pregnant and I’d expect the baby’s birth will require a whole new set of schedule adjustments anyway.

  19. Emm

    I would start carrying mace while walking to and from the car. Can’t be too careful with nutjobs like this idiot.

    1. The Real Ash

      Unfortunately mace has an annoying habit of getting all over the person spraying it as well as the person whom they are spraying, if there is the least little bit of wind. If anything she should get pepper foam, which is too heavy to “scatter” in the air, or be blown back in her face.

      1. Lora

        On many college campuses you can have the campus security/police escort you to your car. Did it many times myself when I had a late night class or there were reports of crime near a building where I had a class.

          1. dawbs

            +1.
            Utilize them.
            I don’t use my workplace’s escort to my car often, but if I have a bad interaction w/ an individual, I do take advantage of that for a week or 2. It’s just an added safety buffer, it doesn’t cost me anything except a little bit of spontaneity when I am coming/going and security would rather I called than didn’t.

        1. The Bookworm

          If it is a larger campus and they have ROTC Cadets, the Cadets may be available to escort you to & from your car – or anywhere else on campus.

  20. Jillociraptor

    Hey OP, just want to send you some love. Stuff like this is always super scary, and probably more so when you’re, you know, growing a baby and preparing to bring it into the world. It’s so hard to have perspective when you’re frightened, and what’s more–maybe especially when you’re pregnant–it’s such a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of situation. Report it to the police and you’re way overreacting. Don’t and it happens again, and everyone’s all over you for not doing your part to prevent it. You’re thinking about all the right stuff, your driving is fine, it’s okay to be scared, and it sounds like your campus police has your back. I hope all the indicators are right, and you have no further negative interactions with Road Rage Rodney.

    1. Not So NewReader

      Ditto from me, OP. We have fear because it helps us to survive. You are currently “surviving” for two. This just makes sense. I wondered if you could find that nice security officer and chat with him. Get his sense of the guy. He might have something very insightful to tell you.
      Meanwhile, maybe you can ask your boss if you can adjust your schedule by 15 minutes or so, such that you arrive later or earlier than this dude. I think she will understand.

  21. ro

    I sympathize with the OP.

    I work in a location where many workers use the back entrance (accessible via a windy, 2 lane back road) and I often have irate people tailgating me. 99% of the time they are people who work at my company as they also turn into our campus. The annoying part is I am always driving the speed limit or about 5 miles over. This road has been the target of many police speed traps and I’ve personally known or seen co-workers get pulled over. Not wanting a speeding ticket I drive like a normal person. But every week I seem to have at least one person in too big of a hurry behind me. The road is very narrow with nowhere to easily pull off, but believe me, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to do so and let the speeder pass. It would make my morning if it happened during one of the surprise police speed traps! :)

    I can’t help but think this kind of behavior is unfortunately part of our increasingly uncivil society.

    1. krisl

      I used to drive past a speed trap area on my way to work. It was frustrating being tailgated while I tried to keep close enough to the speed limit to avoid a ticket.

    2. Jess

      THIS. There is pretty much always a speed trap set up on the base of a bridge on the main road right before my work – and even though I pull over to the far right hand lane when I’m approaching I almost always get tailgated going into it. It’s super stressful and upsetting especially when there’s nothing you can do about it. Can’t pull further right – can’t speed up without getting a ticket. And enough people going that way know that it’s there that most traffic slows down. I wish the tailgaters would take the hint that there’s a speed trap up ahead.

  22. MissDisplaced

    I think let it drop. Unless he does something else to specifically target you, we all hope he was just having a really bad day and was being an aggressive driver jerk. It happens. Lots of otherwise nice people can get angry driving when people cut them off, go slow, etc., etc.

    Besides, it’s on the record now, so try not to worry. If he values his job, I’m sure he’ll stay clear as well. If you’re still worried try arriving/leaving 10-15 minutes or so off your usual time.

  23. Puddin

    I recommend obtaining a copy of the police record/statement of the incident. If something happens to you or your car, you will not have to wait around for the evidence trail. I know that you should be careful of your person, so accept the company of those who will walk you to your car. However, it might also be possible for your car to be damaged. Without eye witness testimony or security footage, you may not be able to prove anything. Is there such a thing as nanny cams for parked cars? Might wanna look into that.

    Now all that being said, let him be the stress guy, type A, clutching his heart. I hope you do not have too much anxiety over this – let him carry that burden by being the hot head. /serenity now/

    And man that guy is a big fat jerk for doing that.

  24. Bea W

    Back in the day, when I was driving to pay the bills, something similar happened to my manager My manager was off the clock, driving in his own car, and something occurred where the other guy was driving aggressively on the highway and then flipped the manager the bird as they passed each other. I no longer recall all the details of what the guy did exactly. It wasn’t as dramatic with police, but being caught driving like a a-hole in a company vehicle, and then flipping off your manager couldn’t have ended well back at the office.

  25. MR

    Maybe it’s because I live in Florida, and just a simple drive to the grocery store is usually an adventure, but I don’t get what the big deal is about this.

    Who hasn’t encountered a tailgater while driving? This one just happens to work in the building next to yours, then gets into a fender-bender with someone else and your parking space happens to be involved. I’d be willing to bet there have been other

    I don’t think I saw anything where the OP and this driver had any kind of interactions in the work place. It’s not as though the driver is stalking the OP at her office or sending harassing emails.

    In a couple of weeks, you will have a new member of your family. This whole incident will be forgotten by then. Congrats on the baby!

    1. Observer

      Actually, she specifically says that he tried to pass when he shouldn’t have (almost caused an accident with oncoming traffic), flashed his lights at her, hand signaled and then hollered at her.

      1. MR

        Yes, I saw that. But this is something that happens all too often when driving. This time, it just happens to be from a guy that works in the building next door. IMO, it’s not a big deal.

        1. Bea W

          Just because it “happens all the time” doesn’t make it less of a big deal. It is also not the norm in all regions. People call drivers in my state “Massholes”, and this guy qualifies as over the top. This guy wasn’t just tailgating, he was being really aggressive and intimidating. For all she knew he was following her out of road rage. She didn’t know he was an employee assigned to the same parking area until she reported it.

        2. Raptor

          Your opinion is yours, so that when you are in this situation, feel free to deal with it how you feel is best. However, you’re in no position to tell others how they feel about a situation. Or to tell them that they had no right to be afraid. This is called victim blaming and it is right in line with ‘women are hysterical’ crap I hear constantly whenever women voice an emotion of any sort… especially anger or fear.

    2. Katie the Fed

      I’ve had some seriously terrifying road rage incidents in my car – people tailgating and following me, pulling next to me to give me the finger, etc. And I’m honestly a good driver. There are scary, unbalanced people out there and this would absolutely freak me out.

      1. Not So NewReader

        Totally agree. I just don’t understand what is to be gained. I heard about a study once that showed people that drive like maniacs only gain about 4-5 minutes on a 40 minute trip. So much effort for something close to nothing. Why.

        I watched one guy use his tractor trailer to intimidate people by tailgating incredibly close. When he did it to the car I was a passenger in, my friend said “be prepared to get hit”. It was that close and we were going over 80 mph. Just when I thought my life was over, the guy changed lanes. I grabbed the 800 number off the truck. Then he did the same thing to the next car that had been in front of me. When I got home, I called. The guy was fired.

        I still wonder why. What was the point.

        1. Gina

          How do you know he was fired? Those 800 numbers are outsourced to call centers unconnected to the company. Are you saying they followed up to tell you, because sharing employee discipline isn’t usual behavior.

          And as to why, he was probably under intense pressure by the same company to make impossible deadlines & figured he’d either be fired for not meeting them or only possibly be fired if someone called to tell.

    3. neverjaunty

      Maybe it’s because neither you nor anybody you know has been hurt or killed by a jerk driver? Yes, tailgating and dangerous angry driving is a big deal.

    4. Tinker

      “I park in a noticeable reserved parking spot at the moment (an expectant mother space), and so when he followed me into the parking deck, he pulled behind me and hollered at me from his car (rudely, but without obscenities or threats, etc.).”

      Maybe I just live in an unusually placid area, but I kind of figure that all’s fair in love and highway driving (more or less, I mean, there are things I’d call the police over) but when you pull up to a car that’s at its destination and continue to interact aggressively with its occupant, that comes off as hella threatening, at least to me. And that’s giving Rodney Roadrage the benefit of the doubt on whether he was appearing to follow the OP (she didn’t necessarily know at the time that they shared a destination) and on whether the relative position of their cars at the time would allow her to leave in her car (as this was not specified).

    5. Artemesia

      All this brought back the memory of a situation where I was driving across the floating bridge in Seattle at 3 am heading to my mother’s place. There was almost noone on the road. This guy started tail gating and then driving up next to me and speeding up and slowing down so I couldn’t get away. Then gesturing obscenely; for several miles I couldn’t shake him and was afraid to drive to my moms since she lived in an isolated suburban area. Finally found a busy restaurant and drove in to their lot. It was mildly terrifying.

      There is tailgating and then there is menacing. Only twice in my life have I experienced the second with a car (I was run off the road once) — but it is really terrifying.

  26. R2D2

    It sounds like maybe the OP is struggling to see the world from the perspective of others… Calling the police when a senior staff member loses their temper at someone moseying along oblivious to the flow of traffic? I mean, I’m pretty sure that was the opening scene of the 80s comedy Revenge of the Nerds — “I’ve, uh, got the ol’ cruise control set at 35!” :) The senior staff member most certainly should apologize, but calling the police and then worrying about their future safety even after calling the police over something like this seems really excessive to me.

    1. ArtsNerd

      Uh, I feel like you’re really downplaying how inappropriate the staff member’s reaction was, and misrepresenting OP’s description of her own driving. My driving style is on the “aggressive” side: I speed, push through yellow lights, get annoyed by people who take 5+ full seconds to complete a lane change, etc.

      I don’t consider anyone driving the speed limit on a two-lane curving road to be “moseying along, oblivious to the flow of traffic.” And even if so, I would NEVER tailgate or holler at them.

      Both? This faculty member has exhibited a serious lack of impulse control and I’m not gonna hold it against OP for taking that seriously.

      1. R2D2

        The faculty should never have shouted after the fact, although I’d like to hope there was an urgent reason for the tail-gating. (What’s the academic equivalent of the private sector “big money emergency”?)

        I suppose it seemed excessive to me because the idea that someone would spend years in training, slowly and painfully spend even more years competing for one of the vanishing senior-level academic positions, and then decide to throw decades of effort out the window to gain vengance on a lower ranking co-worker who has so little impact on their day-to-day life that they were essentially invisible before the incident despite working together for who knows how long… it just seems so unlikely.

        1. neverjaunty

          “throw decades of work out the window”? You think this dude actually believes he was in danger of losing his job?

          Also, not sure why you are finding it hard to believe that people throw away hard-won positions over silly, frivolous things they shouldn’t have done.

          1. R2D2

            I guess I sort of imagined it this way:

            Let’s say the Senior Vice President of Sales is in a big hurry to get to work, and gets stuck behind one of the many mid-level IT people who are on the way to the office. Maybe it’s a million-dollar emergency, maybe the Sales VP is a hothead. They chew the IT person out, and rush off. How likely is it that the Sales VP will even remember the incident in a month? Then the IT person calls the cops, and worries that despite filing a police report, tomorrow the Senior VP (who didn’t know that the IT person even existed until today) will be waiting by the IT person’s parking space to harm them somehow? At least in the large organizations I’ve worked at, the chance of senior staff being able to even tell non-senior staff from another department apart from one another is very low, let alone devoting any sort of personal attention to them. :) To me this sounds like a classic case of “bigger fish to fry”.

            1. Sawrs

              Wow. Faculty members are not gods (neither are senior VPs of sales); their will is not law. The OP did not go out of her way to attract his (entirely unwanted and unwarranted) attention, and suggesting that she has something to fear from him, professionally or otherwise, is odd. He’s not actually “senior” to her, and they don’t work in the same department.

              He had a public tantrum for reasons of his own (none of which are important) and got loud and shouty while operating a dangerous vehicle that he, coincidentally or no, damaged a few days later in the exact same spot and, perhaps, under similar circumstances. Why would any of this be her error?

              1. R2D2

                She wasn’t in error, it simply seems that her concern is misplaced, and that any further action will simply prolong something that would die out on its own. Maybe my own experience is flawed here, but generally in large organizations, mid-level staff are invisible to senior staff from other departments — Milton from Office Space invisible, if you’ve seen that film. :)

                Many people strongly dislike the call center support for groups like Comcast or Verizon here in the States, but when angry websites spring up, it’s never “BillSmithFromOutSourcedCallsInChicagoSucks.com”, it’s always “ComcastSucks.com” or “VerizonSucks.com”. A customer will rage at a representative on Tuesday, get the same rep on Wednesday for a different product, yet treat them like a different person, because frankly they completely forgot about them the minute they hung up the phone — most likely they were never seen as a distinct person, never Bill Smith, but as “[company] call center”, a mix of Bill, his co-workers, his competitors, and the automated voice system. Fearing individual retribution is unnecessary, because the customer never saw Bill as an individual to begin with. :)

                1. Sawrs

                  Let’s see if I can glean anything remotely coherent here:
                  1. OP shouldn’t be concerned about someone screaming at her and putting her in danger, because you say so.
                  2. She’s flattering herself if she believes the person who screamed at her sees her as an “individual.”
                  3. Somehow, the erratic behavior on the part of the faculty member is rendered reasonable because he’s higher up on the hierarchy, whereas the OP will be making trouble if she actively works at keeping herself safe.

                  No. You’re wrong.

                2. R2D2

                  > 1. OP shouldn’t be concerned about someone screaming at her and putting her in danger, because you say so.

                  “Putting her in danger” is the part I was suggesting is not a concern, because,

                  >2. She’s flattering herself if she believes the person who screamed at her sees her as an “individual.”

                  I thought that the Unimportant Mid-level Professional was a sad but common shared experience among folks in large organizations. :-) It’s even made its way into the movies — In American Psycho, even up to the moment before the protagonist Patrick Bateman hacks him to death in a rage, his slightly more important co-worker from a different department keeps mixing him up with another unimportant mid-level professional that does the same sort of work (” Paul Allen has mistaken me for this dickhead Marcus Halberstram. It seems logical because Marcus also works at P&P and in fact does the same exact thing I do and he also has a penchant for Valentino suits and Oliver Peoples glasses. Marcus and I even go to the same barber, although I have a slightly better haircut.”); basically Bateman as an individual is invisible.

                  >3. Somehow, the erratic behavior on the part of the faculty member is rendered reasonable because he’s higher up on the hierarchy, whereas the OP will be making trouble if she actively works at keeping herself safe.

                  That’s been my experience, anyway. :-)

            2. neverjaunty

              This scenario you imagined has literally nothing to do with the OP’s letter. Literally, nothing.

            3. Observer - the first

              I haven’t tea add a dull the responses, but as it happens she had good reason to worry – the guy actually did show up at her spot. He couldn’t be too senior if he doesn’t even have his own spot.

        2. Gina

          “What’s the academic equivalent of the private sector “big money emergency”?”

          There isn’t one, except in their minds. And if it was such an emergency he wouldn’t have had time to stop and yell especially after she so inconsiderately held him up for so long. And I say someone with that little control shouldn’t be handling big money emergencies of any kind.

        3. alma

          the idea that someone would spend years in training, slowly and painfully spend even more years competing for one of the vanishing senior-level academic positions, and then decide to throw decades of effort out the window…

          I work in scientific publishing, supporting many such people you describe, and…. no. Just no.

          All of my colleagues and I have stories of ridiculous verbally abusive temper tantrums we’ve been on the receiving end of, quite often for incredibly small and stupid issues. Some people regard those years of work and training as EXACTLY the reason why they’re allowed to be utter jackholes to their “lessers.” (On the other hand, there are many highly educated academic people who just could not be more sweet and gracious when even when you bring them a major issue. Being a jerk really is a choice people make on some level.)

          And if he had time to stop and scream at OP once she had parked, clearly he was not in THAT big of a hurry.

          1. 30ish

            Exactly. It’s really dangerously naive to think that powerful people don’t make stupid mistakes. One just needs to take a look at recent world history to see that. As for senior academics, yes some of them also behave really stupidly, and some are jerks. Like road rage guy.

        4. Raptor

          Oh yes, how DARE a woman get this poor, poor man fired for being a jerk. She’s just ruining his life. (/snark)

          You know, I normally only hear this line when rape is involved… and how the life of the man was ruined by a woman overrating. You’re basically mansplaining how the man is rational because he’s educated, but the woman is obviously less educated and too emotional.

          Not your place to tell people how they should feel about a situation.

          1. R2D2

            Maybe we can pretend for a moment that the faculty and lower-level staff are the same gender — that keeps it a business question, rather than turning it into the general sociological question, “What should a woman do when an unknown man loses their temper at them?” which will vary from culture to culture. :) That was the way I viewed it, anyway, since I don’t know what country the OP is from.

            1. neverjaunty

              Why do you feel the need to continually invent new facts or ignore existing facts in discussing OP’s letter?

              1. Tinker

                Something about it smells of Game, oddly enough. I think it’s the splainy tone and the appropriatively fawning attitude toward perceived hierarchy (however petty).

            2. Magda

              Maybe we can pretend for a moment that the faculty and lower-level staff are the same gender

              No. Why are you doing this? I really do not understand your purpose in literally pulling imaginary facts out of thin air in order to justify this man’s temper tantrum.

              Do you also want to pretend Ray Rice’s wife is a man for a moment, so you can avoid all those pesky discussions about domestic violence?

        5. Observer

          “I suppose it seemed excessive to me because the idea that someone would spend years in training, slowly and painfully spend even more years competing for one of the vanishing senior-level academic positions, and then decide to throw decades of effort out the window to gain vengance on a lower ranking co-worker who has so little impact on their day-to-day life that they were essentially invisible before the incident despite working together for who knows how long… it just seems so unlikely.”

          It actually does. Which leads to two possible conclusions, based on the facts in hand:

          One- This guy is an irrational jerk (or worse) who is capable of being self-destructive in the pursuit of petty aims.

          Two – this guy isn’t close to a “senior level” faculty member who would be the person who needs to rush into the office to deal with a high level major emergency.

          And, the two conclusions are not mutually exclusive.

          Also, that is why calling the police made a lot of sense.

    2. 30ish

      In addition to the tailgating, the guy almost caused an accident with an oncoming vehicle. I’m not sure how that’s not dangerous or not worthy of concern.

    3. alma

      I’m sorry, but I find this an unbelievably ugly comment. The OP is “struggling to see the world from the perspective of others” because she refused to roll over and accommodate someone who was behaving aggressively and screaming obscenities at her? No.

      You are also being overly negative about her driving — she states that she was going the speed limit on a small, curvy road, also known as DRIVING SAFELY — and even if she had been “moseying,” it would not justify any of Rodney Roadrage’s actions.

    4. Tinker

      It sounds like she didn’t realize she was dealing with one of her betters until after she called the police. Naturally, this must have been very traumatic for him, and hopefully she will remember to pay more attention to recognizing the people who are not expected to obey traffic laws and avoid threatening other people in future.

  27. 30ish

    I’m kind of shocked how many commenters are implying OP did something wrong here. She didn’t. (Even if you believe she was driving too slow, which I don’t think we have any reason to, you shouldn’t be justifying this guy’s reaction in any way). I’m also surprised by the refrain of “surely he’s not going to do anything else to her, he must be a nice guy who just got a little angry”. The truth is, we don’t know that. It’s a sad truth that women often have very good reason to be afraid of men who show rage like that. And finally, yes it matters that she’s pregnant and therefore in a more vulnerable state. So OP, I totally understand why you’re worried. I think the question about going to HR should be about how likely it is that it will resolve the situation. Will it further enrage him or rather calm him down? (I’m thinking of the “Gift of Fear” advice here – sometimes taking more drastic action works, but sometimes it only makes the situation escalate). Honestly I would probably ask for a different parking spot or get a coworker to walk you from your car and back if that’s a possibility. Or talk to Campus Police again and let them keep an eye on this guy. I just wouldn’t want you to encounter him again on your own. It’s not because I believe he would get violent necessarily, but even just a stressful encounter where he talks rudely to you should be avoided. It’s not overly cautious to do whatever makes you feel safer, even if it looks extreme from the outside. Good luck!

    1. Purple Dragon

      I can’t agree with 30ish enough !

      I’m gobsmacked with people indicating that it’s the OP’s fault. Even if she was Driving Miss Daisy there is absolutely no call for that kind of behaviour. I’m not pregnant and I would have been afraid and called the police.

      OP – I really hope this dies down and with no further temper tantrums by this bozo. But keep an eye out and have people walk you to your car. Good luck !

    2. Mike C.

      I have to say, comments like these are incredibly frustrating. If you don’t like or agree with what someone has said, why don’t you respond to them directly? Who are you even talking about and what did they write? We can’t know, and your comment loses a ton of meaning and unfairly characterizes the statements of tons of people here who are supporting the OP.

      1. 30ish

        I was commenting on a tendency in the comments. I was supporting the OP. Seems like a normal practice to me. Not sure why you need to know if my comment was directed at you in particular. Plus, either my comment didn’t have meaning or I was unfairly characterizing some other comments, but both can’t be true at once.

        1. Mike C.

          The tendency of which comments in particular? Why not respond to them directly and foster discussion?

          I never said this was about me, how could it when I support the OP as well?

          Finally, I said “loses a ton of meaning” not “loses all meaning”.

          1. 30ish

            Posting a comment is fostering the discussion, direct reply or not. I don’t get your point. I also suspect that this meta discussion is of very little interest to other readers, so I’m not going to respond anymore after this.

            1. De Minimis

              When you’re coming in after the discussion has been going a while, sometimes a general comment like this is about the only way to be able to participate and make it more likely that your comment will be read. I don’t see the problem.

      2. Raptor

        Because that would be an incredible waste of time, but I’ll go ahead and waste mine explaining the general problem to you.

        Every time a woman says, ‘this thing happened to me and it made me nervous’, the collective response to that is to blame her. To say, she overreacted, was too emotional, shouldn’t have reported it because it would ruin the man’s life, to mansplain how she should have acted (or tell her to ignore it), then to give her advice on how she should protect herself should the worst happen.

        Seriously, guys…. we women know all about these thing already. We spend time talking about it, without you. What we want, is for you to take notice that we’re saying ‘hey, this is a problem’ and not to then tell us ‘yeah, but what about how men are effected by this problem?’

  28. Walla

    I have a very different type of reaction from many- maybe you should have either driven a bit faster or pulled over so he could have passed you. He may have been overly aggressive, but what was your role in all of this, OP? Given that he drove on and there was no physical altercation, I think calling the cops is going WAAAAAY too far! Just chalk it up to someone late for a meeting and move on.

    1. April

      As long as there’s no physical altercation everything’s A-okay? What are you saying? That she has to wait until he actually comes up and hits her before she’s allowed to call the police? Kind of too late by that point, isn’t it? Rage-filled threatening behavior is absolutely worth calling the cops *before* it actually turns violent.

    2. neverjaunty

      The first time I read this comment I thought it was sarcasm.

      Then I realized no, the commenter was actually trying to say this was all somehow the OP’s fault and the poor man was just late for a meeting.

      Pathetic.

      1. Magda

        +1.

        Of course the poor dear couldn’t possibly be expected to start his commute early enough to allow for the existence of other drivers on the road. Won’t someone think of the REAL victim? :( :( :(

    3. Magda

      He may have been overly aggressive, but what was your role in all of this, OP?

      Ahhhhhh yes. No matter how horrible a man acts, it’s always a woman’s fault for “making” him do it somehow.

      I subscribe to the apparently radical idea that grown men can have more self-control than a toddler. Do you?

  29. Manager Anonymous

    In support of OP and her actions.
    Yes to calling the Campus Police- the aggressive driver created this situation not OP. She did not “over react”
    Yes to informing Manager and co-workers.
    And…I would have sent an email to my manager naming names, time, date of both incidences.
    I would describe in a detached calm manner describing the incidences.
    I would take advantage of “campus walker ” services.

    And I am really trying not to engage in name-calling or generalizations. I have no sympathy for the faculty member. His behavior was not collegial. There are no “free passes” for an imagined “book emergency”

  30. C Below

    I agree other responders that this incident should be reported to HR. In every company I’ve worked in, there is a policy about how to address violence in the workplace. This person’s behavior would meet the clearly defined description of violent behavior in every company I’ve worked in (mostly Fortune 500 companies). And that description is any behavior that occurs on company property that is rude, crude, or agressive and makes someone feel threatened.
    These policies go to strongly encourage anyone who feels they have encoutered such behavior to immediately report it to their manager or the HR department.

    Who knows? Maybe this nut job has a habit of doing this and the university doesn’t know or condones it because no one had reported him or seems to be bothered by it. In any case, it is absolutely unacceptable and merely stopping at a police report doesn’t address the problem.

  31. solongLA

    This makes me realize how dysfunctional Los Angeles is and how jaded I’ve become. I’m from a very nice place in the Midwest where this would frazzle but after living in (yes the nice parts) of Los Angeles for 13 years, I may have gotten out of the car and yelled, “you wanna throw down with me, let’s throw down AHOLE!” (Mind you, not while pregnant). This is a horrible realization but what living in a big city with crazy, rude people (and even crazier drivers) does to you. You don’t take sh1t from anyone.

    Last month, I had someone SMASH INTO the back of my car, pushing me through an intersection. My child was in the car and I was shaking. “Are you okay? Are you okay?” I asked and thankfully my child was fine — it was quite the smash but luckily not at a high speed. Then the person — a young woman — got out of her vehicle, came up to my vehicle and started SCREAMING at me. No, “I”m sorry, gosh are you okay? How’s your child?” etc. Clearly they knew they were at fault and thought by intimidating and screaming at me, I would just go away. Instead, I remained very calm. I called the police. I told her I was calling the police and she screamed some more, “YOU DON’T NEED TO CALL THE POLICE. YOU’RE AN IDIOT!” The police came and was nice but said, “you didn’t need to call.” I said, “I am sorry but this person is crazy. They are screaming at us inside our vehicle for twenty minutes. I felt I needed to call.” We went on our way and her insurance company settled with us. I lectured the insurance agent that this girl needs help. I told her that I am not suing because I am taking the good karma that we are okay but that she could’ve really hurt somebody (she was texting and drove through the light and rammed us) and next time might not be like this and that she had no right to come out of her vehicle screaming.
    Another time, the only other accident I’ve had, was on like a seven lane roundabout that intersected with two freeways and the person was nice/normal.
    In Los Angeles, I’ve had people hit my car, scream obscenities, steal parking spots — and then yell at you as they take them — the list goes on.
    Needless to say, I am moving.
    It sounds like the OP did the right thing. Hopefully, he just has a bad temper and was impatient that day. It sucks that the OP will have to think about it and worry about it. Women have instincts and obviously this went beyond this dude was “just in a hurry.” We weren’t there so stop judging her. She did the right thing.

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