Friday, March 4, 2011

RV Road Rage

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I have an ongoing problem with road rage. He sits right next to me in the motorhome and swears a blue streak at the outside world as we drive down the road. If we are in rural areas he seems like a perfectly normal, compassionate human being. When we get into heavy traffic congestion, construction zones or have to turn around because of a missed turn, he goes nutso! I think he needs a course in anger management, but he tells me he is working on a home remedy to “just say no” to spells of frustration and the rage that follows. Can you help us? Is this a normal RV symptom? I see rigs much larger than our Class “C” with a “toad.” I can’t hear into the cockpit of those rigs. Maybe everyone is raging on down the road. Let me know what you think and what I should do to combat my husband’s road hostilities.
--Blue Streak in Biloxi

Dear B S:
I think this is more common than many people like to admit. You don’t hear this often in campground conversation, but you can bet it is more common than people let you believe. Many drivers are capable but not comfortable towing a large rig. I know a retired tour bus driver that spent his career driving 40 ft. Tour buses into New York City and Boston but couldn’t get used to pulling a 30 ft. Fifth wheel. I met another woman who couldn’t stand to listen to her husband swear and talk to other drivers that irritated him. She bought him a sound device that made various weapon sounds. He would use his machine gun or rocket launcher sounds to vent his frustrations. It is no different from trying to kick a smoking habit. You have to want to quit and work hard at keeping your wits about you. Another thought would be to have your husband pull off to the side of the road immediately and do some deep breathing, yoga relaxation poses and make various mediative sounds to connect his RV spirit to the primordial OM sounds resonating throughout the universe. Relaxing and building mental capacity for patience is the key. Rage can ruin a trip, cause unhealthy stress, become a safety issue and ruin a traveling relationship. You may want to do some of the driving when you see your husband going off the deep end. That will be his signal that he is going too far. It may help him put his actions into perspective and mellow him out a bit.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

##RVT80; ##RVT893


Anonymous said...

My wife takes issue with drivers that think the road is all and only theirs (hogs?). What she has started doing is just saying out loud "I'm going to give you that one" to the offending driver. It seems to be working for her.

Betty Waive Hilbrant Baker said...


oldfoxbob said...

Although her husbands raging is his way of relieving stress, the idea of a substitute form is a good start. The idea of a toy gun or space weapon that emits sounds helps.
However if he is raging at the traffic, sooner or later it is going to develop into rage at other things or people in the home. Her husband has some serious issues that need to be addressed today and not tomorrow. I suggest that she and he start counciling immediately. They could see the minister councilor or a psychiatrist or psychologist. Either one should be consulted soon before the next road trip. Otherwise we may some day be reading about them in the obits section of the paper which would be very bad. Having counciled couples and children as a minister with a minor in criminal psychology I have seen this type of behavior many times. It may be a time bomb waiting to explode, but then again it may not. Better to error on the safe side then not.
Rev. Robert Hersh-Geer DOD. PHD.

Jim said...

I'm thinking he is using rage to cover fear. Some people sweat, some people cry, most men yell.

Anonymous said...

I am intrigued by the idea of the toy gun or other such item that would make a sound to vent frustration. Toy gun? NOT A GOOD IDEA! Someone will see it, call 911 and there will be a posse after you pronto.

Both my husband and I suffer from similar road rage with the need to cuss out careless, inconsiderate, and sometimes just plain stupid drivers. Heck, I swear at them even when I am the passenger.

Pulling off the road, especially immediately, is generally not an option. Should it be possible I think many of us would be parked 50% of the time.

Maybe try forcing an opposite reaction, perhaps smiling --- no matter how facetiously?

Anonymous said...

Have you gals heard of Singles on Wheels?

Anonymous said...

In my experience it is the bad driver that suffers from road rage. They can't manage very well, are very nervous and blame others for their problems and mistakes. People these days can't seem to accept responsibility.
A long time ago when I recognized the above in myself I was able to tell myself that I needed to be a better driver to avoid these "idiots" and I learned to do just that.
I am a firm believer in learning to driver properly and anyone towing anything or driving a rig over 30' should need special training. I'd also like to see all drivers examined every 5 years. That thought won't be popular.

Jerry X Shea said...

I drive a 40ft with a tow. My wife understands that I have many friends along the highway - their names are "Jack" and "Dick." I acknowledge them often. I don't yell, I just say "look at that 'Dick' or "hey 'jack' get out of the way.
My feeling is that if a driver keeps his frustration within himself, that is a problem - you need to vent. You don't have to "get red in the face" about it but just let it out in a calm, almost "fun way." That is what I do and when I get to my RV site, I don't even think of those "Dick's and Jack's"

Karen Kelso said...

Unfortunately most non-rver's don't realize they are being idiots when they pull in front of us and cut us off or hit their brakes for no apparent reason or the other 50 million etc's. They probably, no that should be most likely do they same idiotic moves to tractor trailer drivers. It amazes me that Mr or Ms smaller vehicle driver doesn't get it when a much larger vehicle is rolling down the road to not cut them off! We can not stop on a large quarter never mind a dime!!!

Anonymous said...

My husband is the gentlest person you would ever know but get him behind a wheel of a vehicle or towing something and he will yell at inconsiderate drivers cutting us off. I accept this and doesn't bother me. Sometime I say to him, "Too bad everyone is not as good a driver as you are" LOL
Actually he is a very good driver.

Anonymous said...

My husband is an excellent driver. However, if you taped his mouth shut, he would not be able to drive at all! He usually keeps up a running commentary, I'd worry about him if he didn't.