Some of you find New Jersey drivers to be bad. Personally, I don’t know when “driving quickly and with haste” suddenly became a synonym for “bad,” but I guess this is just the world we live in now. I’m here to set that straight.
Earlier this week, AAA North Jersey published a set of tips to remind motorists to stay cool and avoid road rage incidents and confrontations. The President and CEO of AAA North Jersey, David Hughes, said “We need to consider how we react to other motorists’ aggressive driving behaviors. The first and only step to remember is to avoid punishing or ‘paying back’ another driver for a real or perceived slight.”
He went on to offer these three tips to help prevent road rage:
- Don’t Offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing other drivers to use their brakes or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done. If an inadvertent offense occurs, acknowledge the mistake with a quick wave.
- Be Tolerant and Forgiving: People make mistakes while driving. Assume a motorists’ indiscretion is just a lapse in judgement and nothing personal.
- Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and contact 9-1-1 if you feel threatened or harassed by another motorist.
I won’t deny that New Jersey drivers will tailgate, cut you off, blare car horns, swear at you, flip you off and brake check you. These are the facts.
I’m sure Hughes gave these tips with the very best intentions. I really do. But these three tips can be rolled into one easy-to-pack lesson: don’t be a stupid idiot.
I know because I learned to drive in Jersey and it’s served me fine thus far. New Jersey drivers aren’t bad, we just drive quickly and have no time or patience for your bullshit. We got places to go and people to see. Wawas to visit (if we’re from South Jersey) and jug handles to use. We gotta go down the shore!
Sure, it seems that New Jersey drivers seem more animated than others when you see us in your rearview mirror. But that’s only because we do a lot of our talking with our hands. Don’t misread this as anger.
If you get tailgated by a Jersey driver, it’s probably because you are going too slowly. If you speed up or move over, the problem goes away. Don’t be dumb and make the situation worse, antagonizing the New Jersey driver by making us think that something could possibly be our fault?
Also keep in mind that every Jersey driver already assumes that you are a moron, so the bar is already low. Don’t do anything to make it worse.
Because if you do, then we’ll get Donny, Vinnie, Frankie, Enzo, Mikey, Marco, Pattie, Nico and Tino to come out and have a word with you. They’ll find your exit off the Parkway.