Money Doesn’t Mean You Get To Drive Like That

Why is it that there seems to be a higher percentage of Car Privilege syndrome in Los Angeles? Why is it that there are SO MANY people in L.A. that think their expensive car will cause others to bow down and acquiesce to their demands to right of way, or increased speed, or whatever it is they’re acting like jackasses for?

I had a run-in with a couple of girls with a bad case of Car Privilege Syndrome – or CPS – today. I was coming down 3rd just past Fairfax, in the left of the two lanes, when a Saab with a couple of late-teenage girls (in full designer sunglasses and high end mall outfits) tried to come out of the Whole Foods parking lot, cut across the right lane, and cut me off all the way over in the left. No doubt they were trying to cut across both lanes of 3rd and into the left turn for the Grove. I wasn’t amused, and refused to move. They inched forward, clearly conveying that they would hit me if I didn’t get out of their (illegal) way. I inched forward, to convey that they needed to make the legitimate right turn, loop the block, and get into the Grove through normal traffic channels, because their threats would not scare me into getting out of their way. After all, MY car is already scratched up – and a Saturn is more dent resistant than a Saab.

I am often the girl who lets people into traffic, in the hopes of Good Traffic Karma – that it will mean someone lets me in when I’m trying to make a left turn. But this sheer attitude annoyed me enough that I wasn’t going to be helpful or nice. The driver – a dead ringer for an Olsen twin – started shaking her Blackberry at me, rolled down her window, and started yelling something. Probably “I’m going to call my Daddy!” But all I caught was “you need to back the f–k up” before traffic started moving again. Unfortunately, the girls then decided to tail me.

I tried to escape the vengeful Twinkies by changing lanes in front of the Palazzo. But by then, they wanted another shot at insulting me. So they cut off another car to get right behind me, and then proceeded to bring Daddy’s car within six inches of my rear bumper. And I hate deliberate tailing. If I can’t see your hood in my rearview, you’re being a jackass.

Now, we all know the reason you don’t tail people is because they might slam on the brakes suddenly. This is why they tell you to always drive “the count of two” behind someone. Which is why I stopped suddenly when I realized the girls were trying to tail me to threaten me. Again, my car is made of dent-resistant plastic It already has a scratched rear bumper from when I used it for stupid college pranks (long story). So a hit from a Saab at a low speed won’t bother me, or my car. But it sure gets the message through to someone who is deliberately trying to intimidate me with their vehicle.

Of course, they hit me when I stopped. Not hard, not even hard enough to put another scratch on my Saturn. Just hard enough that they got the point – tailing is a bad idea. I’m not older with more insurance, just older with a less vulnerable car. But to avoid any further unpleasantness, I pulled off into the Palazzo driveway. They passed me, yelling and flipping the finger. And that was it. Unless I get a call from their daddies, I can only hope that I don’t run into them again.

It was an extreme reaction, to get so angry, and to cause any sort of accident, no matter how inconsequential. But few things make me angrier than Car Privilege Syndrome. One jackass last week actually tailed me because I insisted at stopping at all the stop signs in a school zone on Gregory in Beverly Hills! Your money, and your expensive car, does not give you the right to try to intimidate me on the road with it. Nothing gives you the right to be an uncourteous driver, and act as if you have more right of way due to your material wealth. If you’re going to be unsafe in traffic in order to threaten me, I’m going to be equally unsafe, call your bluff and let you hit my car, instead of getting out of your way like you want. And that will screw up your paint job much more than it will mine.

16 thoughts on “Money Doesn’t Mean You Get To Drive Like That”

  1. I feel old when I say this, but lately, it feels like it’s always “those kids” who feel the need to be jerks. I had a car full of boys follow me down the street, tailgating me and making rude gestures because I wouldn’t make a left turn in front of an ambulance with full sirens. It was ridiculous.

    Did you get their license plate number? What they did is hit and run, and I’m sure daddy wouldn’t appreciate a call from the police regarding their actions. Just a thought…

  2. They hit you from behind? And you didn’t press the point home even more by screwing with their insurance premiums and a police report to alleviate your pain and suffering of neck injuries?

    If you are going to push it, then next time teach them a lesson beyond scratched paint – for all of our sakes.

    Don’t worry. I always drive safer around Saturns. You are in the clear.

  3. It’s called arrogance. They an afford such cars thus they are the greatest to EVER live and should be allowed to do whatever they want. The fucking pricks. They all ought to be shot. In the face. At least a dozen times. They wouldn’t even suspect it. Darwinism at work. I :heart: Charles Manson.

  4. why can’t people understand that the left lane is for the fast lane, ane not for use on the cellular phone?

    why don’t people use turn signals?

  5. Money forgives a multitude of sins. That’s how our society works if you haven’t noticed. Even in the work place the person with the best sales gets away with shit the middle-rung performers can’t. Its modern Darwinism. They use that money to get privileges, real and imagined, then expect us to bow as they pass.
    I will bow to doing whats right and evoke good karma with the traffic gawds, use a signal and I
    I’ll gladly let you in. Most people won’t because its easier to be an ass and do nothing and put forth the effort to be nice.
    As far as the twinkies go I’m all for a quick 911 while they are in the process of badgering you and reporting repeated attempts at assault with a deadly weapon. You’d be amazed how fast they respond to that one and then you get to watch twinkies over and cuffed on the sidewalk while the event is being sorted out. Priceless.

  6. There’s something about Escalades, in my book.

    Whenever someone’s running me off the road, turning left from a right-hand lane, tailgating me, cutting me off, or parking across two parking spaces, it’s a fucking Cadillac Escalade.

    Expensive car sense of self-importance + giant fucking vehicle = revolting arrogance.

  7. use your camera phone to get photos of the license plates. I had some twink on the 134 pull up beside me and start throwing things at my car (this is at the speed of 74 mph) so I slowed abruptly and pulled behind him to snap a pic, of course that changed his attitude to that of “I better get the fuck out of here!!” only my conscious told my I almost incited another accident….

  8. I have noticed in the past year or so that the Douchebag Driver Award of the Day has gone from the Escalade and other oversized SUV drivers to the I Have a Brand New Mercedes, So New I Don’t Even Have Plates Yet! driver.

    Be it surface street or freeway driving, I’m always surprised to see what those drivers do. I don’t know enough about Mercedes to know if they are the “entry level” models. Perhaps it’s a little taste of the newly leased Good Life giving them the confidence to be Douchebags.

  9. While I agree with the truth that it seems that the nicer the car = the more of a dick the driver is, something about this post and the comments just reek of douchiness. Perhaps it is that you are making up this internal dialogue (“I’m going to call my Daddy!”) with these people you didn’t even speak to. Of course what they did was lame, but sounds like you’re making as many asinine assumptions about them as they are about you.

  10. I totally agree with Jillian! What she talked about happens practically every other day when I’m in my car.

    Its why I try to ride my bike more often.

  11. Pep – they didn’t make assumptions about me. They made threatening movements with their car. Now, I get to utilize them for a public mocking, with bad sterotyping, especially since I caveated it with “probably”. But you’re right. What she was yelling could have been, “I’m going to call my lawyer!” The “I’m going to call someone with this phone,” message was loud and clear. It couldn’t have been, “I have a BlackBerry, and that entitles me to drive like this,” because even peasants like me have one.

    Douchiness, indeed.

  12. you should be lucky you haven’t cross paths with some douche bag armenian driving his bmw

    the scum of the earth

  13. Jillian: Next time, be sure to point and laugh as they pass by.

    I find they *really* like it when you do that.

  14. I’m with the first commenters on this one. Nothing would have stuck it to them more than to call in the hit and run. What would they say in their defense?

    “She started it?”

    Driving away after causing a collision isn’t just bad behavior… it’s a crime.

  15. More like “she deliberately caused the accident, left the scene without making an attempt to exchange driver information as required by law, and then admitted to both things on a popular website–the server records and IP logs of which, of course, were the very first things that my lawyer subpoenaed.”

    Best to just let this one go.

  16. Come live downtown and you’ll see that asshole/stupid driving is not “just for the rich”

Comments are closed.