In 1983 I lived in Orange County, California, and was driving on the 405 freeway, one of the busiest stretches of 8-lane freeways in the US on a warm, late afternoon just before sunset. It was during rush hour, so traffic was heavy, but people there were used to it, so they drove packed together at 50 mph speeds that didn’t leave much room to react. Slightly ahead of me and 1 lane over, a middle-aged guy in a big sedan was following a smaller car very closely, which people consider “tailgating”, dangerous asshole behavior at 50 mph. The smaller car was driven by a younger guy, and maybe his girlfriend, both under 25 years old. To get the tailgater, who I’ll dub AssHat, to leave some space, small car guy, I’ll call him Napoleon, lightly tapped the brakes. AssHat got irritated and flashed his high beam headlights, and drove even closer to Napoleon. Napoleon’s girlfriend in the passenger seat started getting nervous, so she motioned Napoleon to change lanes to let Asshat pass. As soon as some room opened up, Napoleon changed lanes. AssHat moved right over behind Napoleon too, and flashed his high beams and drove right on Napoleon”s tail. Middle finger greetings were heartily exchanged.
By this time, other drivers were giving the two cars some distance. AssHat rode Napoleons rear bumper like a dog sniffing a rear end, so Napoleon tapped the brakes again, causing AssHat to lock up 4 tires and skid, on the busiest freeway going 40 mph. Well, that got AssHat to get a little annoyed, so he floored the gas, swerved around Napoleon, cut in very close in front, and hit the brakes. Napoleon rear-ended AssHat, hitting the horn just before impact. Middle fingers turned to fist-waving and lots of front teeth displays. Girlfriend was of course calmly knitting a sweater, I mean freaking out and screaming. I could hear all this through my open windows, but frankly you could probably hear what was said if you were rehearsing heavy metal. Napoleon got miffed at this point, so he floored the gas, passed AssHat, cut in front, and slammed on the brakes. By this time, other cars were giving them lots of room, but everyone was still going 40 mph! To no one’s surprise, AssHat rear ended Napoleon, but this was Orange County traffic, nobody was going to slow down and risk opening a gap in the lane because of a little blood, spit, and sheet metal. As I passed by them they were locked in a demolition duel, each taking turns ramming into the other guy, at 5:00 PM on the 405 freeway, on a weekday at rush hour.