I like to leave plenty of following distance on the road. Many drivers American* drivers don’t seem to understand that it makes traffic much safer and, coincidentally, better-flowing when you leave a minimum of two seconds between your front bumper and the rear bumper of the car in front of you. They also don’t seem to understand that leaving a safe distance isn’t the same thing as driving slowly. Once I’m at a safe distance, I drive the same speed as the car in front of me – up to a safe speed which may or may not be over the speed limit.

The simple fact that humans need time to react, however, is lost on the ignorant and angry driver who (this morning) decides to tailgate me in the slow lane, flash his lights, and subsequently boast to me from the exit ramp that he does indeed possess a middle finger. I was shocked, angered, saddened, then eventually resumed my usual lack of faith in humanity.

Sure, sometimes I act stupidly on the road and sometimes I act aggressively. Those times I probably deserve a rude gesture. This time I was doing absolutely nothing provocative other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and had to suffer the wrath of an emotionally uncontrolled person behind the wheel of a 4000-pound weapon because of it.

* Did you know that you can have your license suspended for following too closely on the German Autobahn? Did you also know they have one of the lowest fatality rates on the freeways of areas with similar road systems? Why can’t we put the fear of losing driving privileges into drivers here in the States? Are we so entitled?