Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

August 17, 2013

Beware the raging rich


Hendricks County Flyer

---- — Driving to work every morning, I encounter the same woman, driving a Subaru, at the same intersection. We face off at a stoplight. We will be turning the same direction; she is making a right, I am making a left. She is always talking on the phone. When the light changes, we both make our turns. Inevitably, she makes her turn, floors it and immediately switches lanes so that she is directly in front of me. Every morning, I swear this is true, she then slams on her breaks and flips on her left turn signal. Every morning there is too much traffic for me to go around her. And that’s when I jump out of my car, grab her phone, and bludgeon her with it.

Ha ha! I’m kidding, of course. Phones are too fragile an instrument to use to bludgeon a person. I use a tire iron.

No, while it’s true that this woman angers me daily, it has never occurred to me to do anything more than throw out every curse word I can recall, and sometimes even invent a few new ones designed just for her. That is because I don’t own a Prius or a BMW.

What’s that got to do with it you ask? Just ask Paul Piff, a researcher with the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California Berkeley who conducted a study that found that Toyota Prius and BMW drivers are more likely to be bad drivers, experience road rage, and have little respect for pedestrians.

You can get a new Prius for about $24,000 and score a BMW for around $32,000. Granted, that’s cheaper than a purse for Oprah Winfrey, but it does kind of lend to the fact that those who have a few extra dollars to spend might also be a wee bit testy.

You may think that one little study cannot define bad drivers, but there was also another recent study by the money-saving website VoucherCodesPro that suggested BMW motorists ranked the most aggressive — just ahead of those driving Land Rovers, Audis, and (drum roll, please), Subarus.

Put all that together with Oprah’s recent purse rant and what can you deduct? Heck, I don’t need a government grant for a research study for this one. It appears to me that those who suffer from having too much money have anger issues.

I can feel their pain, can’t you? It must be really difficult to decide if you should buy a purse or a Prius. Do I save the environment and feel good about myself or carry a designer bag and feel good about myself? So many decisions!

Frankly, I’m just glad I don’t have such issues to deal with on a daily basis.

As for my Subaru-driving foe who cuts me off every morning … roll on, my cell phone loving friend. And just be glad I don’t own a $38,000 purse. Because if I did, I would without a doubt be the type of person who would run you off the road and smack you with it.

— Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book “What’s the Point?” available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.