I’ve learned something about my city this past week. Road rage in Toronto is at an all time high. In the month that I’ve been home, I’ve had three aggressive road rage incidents targeted at me. Three. In one month. Let’s put this in perspective. I spend close to half a year every single year over the course of twelve months driving in LA. LA. There are millions more drivers and cars on the roads there. You know how many road rage issues I have in LA. NONE. Ever. As in NEVER have I EVER had an issue while driving in LA. And I drive the exact same way in LA as I do in Toronto. In fact, truth be told, I may even be a tad brattier in LA with my driving; because getting a ticket there for speeding would not have the same impact on my driving record as getting tickets here would. So I’m definitely way more cautious and “law abiding” in Toronto than I am in LA.
And yet all my driver’s conflict issues seem to happen here, in my hometown, with men.
Yannick has a theory. Well actually his theory is two fold. 1) he says people don’t “go after” people in LA because you just never know who might be driving with a gun in their vehicle. Probably true and 2) he says it’s because I’m a woman, driving alone most of the time, and he believes that in the times of Trump the male misogynistic attitude is flying bold and free in a way that it never has. He is 1000% confident that if I had a man in my passenger seat when I indicate to come over in front of a man, or when I pass one, no guy would “chase” me down the road to fuck with me. I wonder if this is true?
My brother and I were driving to Oshawa General Hospital together yesterday to see our dad in emergency. He thought he was having a heart attack, thank God he did not. He is well, and resting at home. Monday we’re taking him for an ECG to learn more about what IS going on with him. I shared with my brother, who was my passenger about an elderly man, like ELDERLY, probably late 70’s who backed out of his driveway in front of me, no problem, the light ahead of us was red. He made his left hand turn at the light, chose to go into the right lane, instead of the left, no problem, seems to be a trend in driving the world over that people don’t turn into their lane. Whatever. You do you, I prefer to turn into my correct lane. As we were driving along, he in the right, me in the left, I put on my indicator to go in front of him to avoid ending up in a pile of cars ahead of me stopped at a red light for their left hand turn.
I bet you can all guess what happened next.
He sped up, attempting to not allow me in front of him, even though he was going slower than me. I had room and made my lane change anyway. He tailgated me, ran a yellow to continue to tailgate me. I made my left into the parking lot of the store I was going to, he followed me in. I exited my SUV, with our eldest girl, he attempted to “hit me” with his car. I didn’t say a word I just filmed the entire thing, as per YB’S instructions. He called me all sorts of names. I told him he’s not a gentleman. Can you guess what happened next?
You’ll never guess in a million years so I’m just going to tell you.
He said; “if I had a gun I would shoot you.”
Yup. Yes he did. And I have it all on video.
All because I went in front of him.
All because I made a lane change that I indicated that I was doing, when I had plenty of room to do it within.
If this man had a gun in his car he says he would have shot me.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
What the hell has happened to my city? What in the hot hell is going on with so many of the men who live here? Just the other day, Friday, I went to go around a trash truck picking up bins. Normal right? I mean why would I want to stay behind him on his trash route? I’m not being paid to stop at every bin to collect trash. So I went around him.
You know what he did???
He came out from the curb, raced along the road, passed me and almost t-boned a woman that was making a left out of a driveway that I had stopped for because she was already engaged in her exit when I came around the bend.
And I am not alone. I’ve had multiple conversations with other women this past week and everybody has similar stories of being chased along the roads of the GTA by men overflowing with hatred, violence and malice.
What is happening with Toronto men behind the wheels of motor vehicles? What are some of you even thinking? Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm.