The Upside of Road Bullying

Angry. Hila Avrahamzon, 2018

So, you’ve been road-bullied. We all have at some point (more often that we’d like to think).

It’s stupid, frustrating and sometimes down right terrifying but whenever I experience road-bullying (mmm, every f***ing day) I try and calm myself by thinking that it’s thanks to road bullying that we have penicillin, high-speed Internet, heart transplants and the slinky.

I hear you asking why.

That guy cutting you off, that woman leaning on her horn to let you know exactly how she feels about your driving speed, are part of a game bigger than them, the game of evolution.

Evolution is all about survival and reproduction. People (mainly males but not only) seek to be at the top of the food chain, to be the dominant alpha. This results in aggressive behavior as they battle to be at the top of the pyramid, where the chances of survival and finding the perfect partner to spread their alpha genes are optimal.

On the road, this manifests in driving fast, cutting lanes, racing the lights and generally selfish, inconsiderate behavior. On the road these types of behaviors are accentuated for many reasons (you can read about some here and how to deal with it here) and have much more severe consequences — data gathered by indicates that 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.

However — aggressive behavior in humans is not unique to driving. You can find aggressive behavior almost everywhere, in fact, wherever you’ll find people you’ll probably find aggressive behavior.

Discouraging as it may be, one should keep in mind that it’s these exact impulses that drive us, as a species, to excel in everything we do. The spirit that causes us to feel like the most important person driving down the road is the same spirit that tells us we are indestructible. This is the spirit that believes “I can do anything”. It’s the same impulse that put man on the moon, split the atom, and mapped the human gene pool.

So, next time you come across aggressive behavior just sit back, take a deep breath and try to remember that this guy just cutting you off is helping cure cancer.