If our cars could just play “Mercy Mercy Me” when a Road Rage situation is detected, countless lives would be saved each year. It shouldn’t be that hard to do. If the car is going faster than 45 mph and it detects sudden braking and the horn being pressed, the odds are pretty high that the potential for a Road Rage condition exists.
When that happens, the car should immediately start playing Marvin Gaye singing “Mercy Mercy Me”. You just can’t stay mad listening to that song.
I discovered this amazing fact this morning, while driving into work. I was in the left lane, driving a large breadbox that is also known as the Honda Odyssey. Some guy in a Fiat 500 (named because that’s about how much it weighs) started moving into my lane, right about where my front fender is.
I tapped my brakes and pressed the horn to gently remind the driver that while we can both occupy the same place, physics prevents us from doing this at the same time. His response was to give me the finger and do some assorted other hand signals.
That made me mad. It’s one thing to be a lousy driver and to make a mistake of not looking to see where you are putting your ridiculous car; but it’s quite another to get mad at another person because you missed the Driver Ed class on how to use a mirror.
If I had not hit the brakes, he would have crashed into me. Which would have been annoying. I probably would have had to pull over and wipe Fiat off my fender. In addition to not understanding the laws of physics, those laws would be decisively unkind to the Fiat. When a 2300 pound object hits a 4400 pound object, it’s not hard to pick the winner of that outcome.
He then attempted to speed away from me. Which in a Fiat 500 is cute to watch. Soaking wet, a Fiat 500 has about 12 horsepower (OK, 101 horsepower). The Odyssey has 248 (breadbox aerodynamics requires the horsepower equivalent of 1980 Ferrari 308 GTS. To be fair the Ferrari weighs less and looks cooler) horsepower. I could tailgate the 500 without the Honda breaking a sweat.
Before I could start participating in today’s Road Rage challenge, “Mercy Mercy Me” came on the radio. The soothing tones of Marvin Gaye pushed the Road Rage out of my head and replaced it with a pleasant calmness. In the same amount of time it took to get mad, I became unmad. I then maintained a normal cruising speed, while in the increasing distance the Fiat 500 driver tailgated the car in front of him.
This could work for other people. It doesn’t have to be Marvin Gaye, you could pick from a selection of music that would soothe you, based on your own tastes. But I think “Mercy Mercy Me” would work for most people.