While taking my Sweet Polly Purebred to the doctor in Los Angeles yesterday, I noticed two particular egregious incidents of aggressive driving. One was in the HOV merge from California State Route 14/Antelope Valley Freeway southbound to Interstate 5/Golden State Freeway southbound. This is a recently constructed HOV lane going southbound in this instance, and I've used this very same HOV lane several times previously with no difficulties. The CA Route 14 southbound driver has to merge into the I-5 HOV lane in quick order. Out of the blue, another car came racing up and got within a few feet of my rear bumper, and I had no where else to put my vehicle. . . I was at the mercy of either my brakes (not the thing to do this time), my accelerator (the thing to do this time) or the other car's driver (unwise, as they were the aggressor). Accelerating did the trick here, but it was close. We got the license number of the vehicle, a new white Hyundai with a new California license plate, and called it in to the CHP via the 511 telephone system. Not an adrenaline rush for me, but for her.
On the return trip north, we took the usually free flowing and safe Interstate 210/Foothill Freeway westbound from La Canada Flintridge to Sylmar. Side note: I daresay we via an alternate routing took the same 20 minutes our routing versus the Caltrans information electronic sign notice on I-5 northbound before CA Route 2 saying "CA 118 - 20 minutes." It took us the same 20 minutes and 5 extra miles via a less congested and safer overall route on CA Route 2/Glendale Freeway and I-210/Foothill Freeway, but for one concern: with lights on and left turn signal on in the La Crescenta portion of the Foothill Freeway, another car saw fit to sideswipe us on the left. I was already partially in the lane, but this car had to bully us out of it and would not yield. I wisely returned to my original lane, and returned to the new lane to the left after they went past me at a higher rate of speed. . . speeding, of course.
The point of all of this is to alert our international and in country travelers (and regional and local ones too of course) as to the continuing problem aggressive driving is in California and in the United States overall. Here's a checklist/quiz on the subject: santacruzlive.com/blogs/… If an experienced seasoned California licensed driver such as myself has a few moments of suffering aggressive driving incidents that could have landed us in the hospital or worse, even dead, I'm guessing that others traveling also encounter these kind of aggressive driver situations while on our roadways. Know what to do before you take the wheel, drive defensively, and do everything you can to leave yourself an out - have a way of escaping the consequence of other's aggressive and unsafe driving while in your vicinity. Be safe out there, folks.