Yesterday I had a chance to see a road rage/traffic bully in action. In the photo above, you see the hood of my car and the black truck that tried to run me into the lane with on-coming traffic because he truly needed to be one car length further down the road than he would have been had he been unable to get to the space in front of me. He was also short on time to do so because the four lane road turned into one lane in each direction at the rapidly approaching intersection. The tactic he used is really simple, and it is one I used when my rambunctious late teen aged self was always in a hurry.
You simply start acting like you are willing to smash into the car next to you several times. anyone in their right mind is going to hit their brakes if your intent to smash seems serious enough. If this doesn’t work, you simply move into the lane you wish to be in. The other driver will almost always hit the brakes, and, if they are anything like me, they will give you a thorough cursing-out that you won’t hear.
In addition to the cursing, I also did something else. As you can see I took some pictures. This one was from further back. I got a few pictures that were closer, but opted to use this one because with there being so much about technology that I don’t know, I was unsure if it is possible to undo any edit, so even if you remove the yellow “paint” from the license plate, you still will not be able to see the license plate number. But I did get a few with the plate number very clear.
Here is what I want to point out today.
With nothing more than a photo of his plate number and a quick search, I was able to get this guy’s name, home address, and DL number. With that information, I was able to find his Facebook, which in turn gave me his phone number, email address, and place of employment. From the website of his place of employment I was able to get his work phone number and work email address.
Before I continue, I do not recommend you do this and try to do anything with the information you find. I am bringing this up to illustrate a point. I retrieved all of this information, not to do anything with it, but rather to see if it could be done.
It can and it is disturbingly easy.
In our modern society, privacy is a thing of the past.
This leads us to self-protection. When you are driving, calm down! Everyone wants to get where they are going, and your destination is important only to you. The other people are concerned with where they are going.
With less than ten pictures on my phone, and less than ten minutes on the internet, I had enough information on this guy to really cause a ton of problems for him. If I were a bad person I could have gone to his house, or his place of employment, or sent harassing emails, or whatever!
Do you want to roll the dice that the guy you cut off in traffic isn’t going to be a nutcase who would take a few minutes to find all he needed to know about you to torment you just because he can?
Self defense/self protection starts with you. You have to be calm, you have to look to keep things from getting out of hand. If you let yourself act like a doofus, and refuse to see that you don’t own the road and nobody cares how long you sit in traffic every day because they have their own issues to deal with, you can end up with more problems than you can imagine.
To be truly safe, your first step is in not starting trouble.