Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Latest Driving Ploy

It was an ordinary day. I had left my sister’s apartment and was about to get on the eight-lane highway in front of the airport. There were three lanes between where I was and where I needed to be. I checked if I had enough distance between myself and the car behind. In fact, I waited for a car to go by, and there was a clearing and in my judgment I could change lanes without endangering anyone. I turned on my signal light, accelerated, and changed lanes. Remember this is something I routinely do.

A red compact car, which had been at least six car lengths behind me, accelerated abruptly and positioned himself behind me and honked his horn, while I continued my movement to the right. I thought briefly that this reaction from the car behind me was uncalled for and there really wasn’t much I could do to say I’m sorry since there isn’t a universal hand signal to say pardon me or I’m sorry. Knowing it had been a minor offense, if any, I moved on. He’ll get over it. Next thing I know, the red car suddenly moved in front of me. Umm, red flag. Road rage.

I was expecting him to give me the famous hand signal, the finger, but it didn’t come. Instead he drove a normal speed for a few seconds and then deliberately put on the brakes in front of me. There was something funny about it. Actually, it was not funny at all. He had abruptly slowed down yet his brake lights did not come on. Next he went real slow, and then did a devil type of hand signal with long skinny fingers. I gasped inside realizing what had just happened. Seeing no reaction and no accident, he moved on.

I felt like cursing him while observing him suspiciously, but instead I prayed for him to repent. He moved two lanes across the road to his left and I did not take my eyes off of him until there was a concrete divider between us and he could no longer come into my lane.

I couldn’t figure this out. It was a sparkling new car. Shiny. Sparkling. Spick and span. Yet, I knew his brake lights hadn’t come on but it wasn’t until this morning I realized that he probably has his car souped-up to take off those brake lights deliberately. He wanted me to crash in to him or give me a big scare. In any case, it didn’t work.

What I did find alarming is the malice. No longer is it just the expected sloppy driving but now the ploys. I later spoke to a friend and he says this is a ploy that is being pulled on unsuspecting drivers to make them bump into the car in front of them, pull over, and then rob them. It makes sense since I was on the road to the airport where many tourists drive to return their cars.

Fortunately, I am returning home soon. In the meantime you can be sure I will be praying and changing my routine while watching out for that little red car that is on fire.

Dios nos proteja!

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