Letter: WNC scarred by road rage bullies

Graphic by Lori Deaton

A few days ago, I was driving along Patton Avenue bridge and onto I-26 North. A driver of a pickup truck started to harass me from behind and then cut me off several times as we headed up 26 North. It seemed like the driver wanted to intentionally cause an accident with me. Luckily, I have a fast reaction time. Eventually, the truck sped off.

I am not sure whether it was the color of my skin, or the fact that I was driving an electric car that was irritating this person. This is not the first time I have been harassed on these mountain roads, and more often than not, the vehicles are trucks or large SUVs. I am not saying that truck drivers are bad drivers. I also drive a truck, but I don’t use it as a weapon on the road — it’s just a utility vehicle to haul stuff. You can love your truck without trying to run people off the road.

Many years ago, I used to walk about half a mile to a bus stop along a busy London road with my younger sister. On several occasions, I was accosted by an older English boy. He would block the path, and I would move to the other side of the sidewalk. He would move to block me again, and I would move back. Eventually, he would let us go and laugh. However, we got into some fistfights, as young boys do. One day, he stopped me in front of a grocery where my uncle worked. My uncle noticed the scuffle outside and ran to my rescue. Needless to say, the boy never harassed me again.

The event on the road reminded me of that time — but we were boys, not adults driving weapons on the road. If the truck driver drives like that habitually, they could end up killing themselves or worse, someone else. From my decades of driving these roads, it seems to me there are a significant amount of bullies on them. I can understand impatience and frustration driving in a large city like Atlanta, with lots of traffic and people trying to get places all the time. However, this area is mostly rural, and traffic here is nothing to get angry about, especially now with the pandemic slowdown. It is sad that such a pristine area is scarred by such an ugly attitude.

— Rudy Beharrysingh


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5 thoughts on “Letter: WNC scarred by road rage bullies

  1. Bright

    Asheville is a very sad situation. It’s too juvenile not to succumb to peer pressure and too self-involved to grow up. Seems to have more greed than sense. Of course, I’m moving.

    • Fro

      Yeah, I was just saying the other day how Asheville doesn’t live up to its hype. I was almost side swiped this morning on my way to the store as well. I’ve seen this area overtaken by greed and people who have no regard for what made this place special to begin with. It’s too bad. Of course the fact that there is an actual billboard for a known rapist in downtown pretty much sums it all up in my opinion. As much as I love the mountains, the reality of living here, well, maybe it is great for rich people who can sell their houses out west for a ton of money and then move here and work remotely further increasing the divide between who can afford to live here and who can’t. I totally agree with you bright, excellent way to express it.

  2. WNC

    Drivers of all colors and all types of vehicle’s get encroached on by drivers of all colors and types of cars.

  3. Kristina Woodlin

    I would ask if you were driving slow in the left lane, which is for passing, or if you neglected to use a blinker to change lanes. If this happens to you often perhaps you are doing something that is aggravating other drivers. I have noticed many seem unaware that the left lane is not to be used to pace the car next to you, as it creates a blockade and then traffic cannot flow properly. Do people often pass you on the right? If so you were in the wrong lane. Not my opinion, it’s the law.

    • luther blissett

      In theory, sure.

      In practice, driving I-240 safely means making a bunch of decisions about the correct lane early even if it’s putting you in the “wrong” lane. Coming from Patton? Traffic merging to your right and swinging across to the far left for the Future 26 exit, then more traffic merging in from the left and then the right. Coming from the east? Traffic merging from the left at Chunns Cove, lanes ending on the right, drivers caught unawares by the exit-only lane at Charlotte, and then the short on- and off-ramps right through downtown before choosing the appropriate lane to get over the bridge while everything’s merging towards you.

      And we’ve all had our moments with Chuck and his truck, or Phyllis and her Florida-tagged Buick.

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