I judge people by the way they drive. Why? Because I think the way a person treats others, their passengers and themselves on the road shows insight into their true colors. Not unlike the way you can tell someone’s a jerk if they are willing to bully cashiers or servers.
Every disordered person I’ve ever had the misfortune of riding with has had serious road rage issues as well as an extensive history of traffic and parking violations.
It makes sense if you think about it. Driving requires a certain amount of patience, consideration, and humility. If you want to get where you are going safe and sane, you have to accept that sometimes you won’t make the lights. Sometimes people will pull in out front of you and go slowly. Sometimes you will have to be nice and let someone get over. Sometimes another drive might make a mistake that annoys you. Sometimes, someone will pass you.
These are all things that an arrogant and entitled personality cannot handle.
The traits of anti-social personality disorder include:
- failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
- deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
- impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
- irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
- reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
- consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
- lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
So how do these correlate with a road raging sociopath?
Well, the first is an easy one. They don’t care about following traffic laws. If they get a ticket, they don’t learn a lesson. I once watched my narcopath ex get three speeding tickets in two days–the last two were about an hour apart. Each time, he blamed the police for using radars that didn’t show up on his radar detector. Yes. It was their fault they caught him speeding because his detector didn’t warn him that they were using radar to catch speeders. It wasn’t HIS fault for speeding, of course. Sociopaths have no interest in following laws, nor do they learn from consequences.
Secondly, when a sociopath is pulled over, they will lie. On the way to the airport one day, my ex once told a police officer a very convincing story that he was a pilot and he was worried he wouldn’t get to work on time because that would make all those innocent people miss their flights. The officer bought it. My ex was not a pilot. He was flying to a social event.
Third, sociopaths are impulsive. They will not plan ahead when it is time to change lanes or get in an exit lane. They will just dart over and expect others to get out of their way. And then fourth, they will became extremely enraged and violent with other drivers. My ex has run people off the road and instigated hit and run accidents. If someone passes him, he gets angry because being passed is an insult to his ego. He will start raging, speeding and weaving in and out of lanes to get back in front of the person who *dared* to pass him. Anything another driver does to annoy him, he will take to extremes. His face will turn hard and red, his veins will pop out, and he will go crazy.
Fifth, this is another obvious one. The sociopaths doesn’t care about safety. They will drive dangerously with family members–even children–in the car. They care about “winning” at any cost. This fits in with six–lack of responsibility. My narcopath ex is currently driving on a suspended license. His license is suspended or revoked in multiple states and has been for years, but he will not take steps to fix this situation. He’s even been to court over and over to fight instead of facing the consequences. He’s been dragging out a DUI case for three years now.
Finally, seven. Sociopaths will cause wrecks, harm others, destroy their own cars, pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for repeat tickets, and worse…but they will never feel remorse. Their consequences are always someone else’s fault in their minds.
While a plain narcissist isn’t as extreme as a sociopath, they too feel entitled to do whatever they want and to have power over others. They lack empathy and they are arrogant, so they lord over the road just like they lord over everyone else.
Now if I ride with someone who had road problems, even if they aren’t a full out sociopath, (that I know of,) I avoid riding with them in the future. I usually rule them out as a friend, and I definitely rule them out as a date. People show their true colors when they are rude to others–even if they are still being superficially nice to you, and driving dangerously is about as rude as a person can get in public.