There are inconsiderate drivers, and then there are truly dangerous ones.
A Livingston County, MI, jury recently convicted 69-year-old Martin Zale of second-degree murder for shooting a man who confronted him for aggressive driving near Howell, northwest of Detroit.
Derek Flemming, 43, a father of two, was at Zale’s driver-side window when he was shot with a 9 mm Ruger. Zale claimed self-defense.
Road rage is an ugly thing that can turn lethal, which explains my sense of alarm when I was leaving my office a few weeks ago in Southfield, waiting first in line at a stoplight right outside our parking deck.
I was fully attentive, and I stepped on the gas when the light turned green. As I moved through the intersection, I noticed in my rear-view mirror that the driver behind me seemed highly impatient and was tailgating.
With both hands, he was motioning me forward, as if I were going too slowly. He couldn’t pass because the car next to me was going the same speed.
That stretch of Central Park Blvd. is a notorious speed trap, but I was going slightly above the limit. Not fast enough, apparently. I was relieved when he turned off and sped through a parking lot.
It’s because of encounters like these, as well as the distraction epidemic, that I teach my kids about defensive and responsible driving. I’m proud to say they’re both good drivers.
I used to think autonomous cars were silly science experiments and potentially dangerous. I’m reconsidering. Our roads likely will become safer because people will be able to text to their heart’s content, same as they do today. But they won’t have to drive.
The older I get, the more my wife says I sound like a grouchy, old Clint Eastwood.
Well, I’m proud to say it: Stop Texting, and Get Off My Lawn!
I doubt I’m the only person with tales of woe from behind the wheel. Care to share your stories?