Let’s face it: most of the time, driving is nothing more than a necessary evil. Indeed, unless you have the pleasure of taking a long cross-country road trip, chances are that you’re going to spend most of your time behind the wheel stuck in traffic and fighting for parking spots. And that’s exactly what happened to this old lady, who was filmed at an unidentified location in the U.S. After a brash young buck stole into the space that she thought she had secured, she wasn’t about to let him get away with it. Her vengeance was swift but not smart, and it may well have crossed the line…
Until self-driving cars become the norm, road rage is always going to rear its ugly head on the streets and highways of America – and the rest of the world for that matter. Whether it’s someone cutting you off at an intersection, tailgating or even dangerously undertaking your vehicle, thanks to other road users, driving can sometimes be an absolute nightmare.
It is no surprise, then, that road rage is such an issue. For those who are after a precise definition, the U.S. government agency the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that road rage is when a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.” In the U.S. about two-thirds of deaths in road traffic accidents occur due to aggressive driving, while firearms are a factor in 37 percent of all incidents caused by road rage – if you are a driver in the states, it can be scary stuff.
And according to government body the American Safety Council, it is men younger than the age of 19 who are most susceptible to bouts of road rage. The organization’s survey numbers are even more worrying still. Yes, the data recorded more than 12,000 injuries and some 218 murders as being caused by road rage in just one seven-year period.
Despite the youthful demographic identified as being the most likely to commit acts of road rage, it was actually a citizen of the more senior variety who appeared to succumb to the phenomenon in a video uploaded to YouTube in April 2015. When a younger driver is shown stealing into the parking space that she was clearly waiting for, the elderly avenger enacts a terrible reprisal. What she didn’t know, however, was that the whole sorry episode was captured on the parking lot’s CCTV system.
The footage begins with a jeep reversing out of a parking bay spot, while a dark Toyota Prius waits patiently behind for the space to become empty. It is a commonplace scene – one that you could find in any other parking lot on any other day. But this wasn’t any other day.
Instead, as soon as the jeep has pulled out – and before the patient Prius can pull in – a light-colored Honda people-carrier zooms through the newly created gap and straight into the now vacant parking bay. Effectively, then, the space has been stolen from right under the Prius driver’s nose.
A carefree young guy then jumps out of the Honda, closing his door behind him. Sporting a reversed baseball cap and talking on his cellphone, he clearly doesn’t give two hoots about the fact that he’s just swooped in and swiped someone else’s parking spot.
He’s not exactly ignorant of the fact, either: in the footage it is clear that he has seen the Prius waiting, as he half turns around before walking off. And while he does appear to make some kind of half-hearted apologetic – or even dismissive – hand gesture towards the Prius, he certainly doesn’t bother getting back into his vehicle and moving it. We see the man walk off screen, the incident presumably to be forgotten as he carries on with his day.
Next we see the owner of the Prius exit their car. The disgruntled driver appears to be an elderly woman, and she looks determined as she climbs out of the vehicle, which is still stationary in the middle of the parking lot. She is clearly in no mood to let the Honda driver get away with stealing what she sees as her spot, and she heads for her rear passenger door.
Opening the door in question, she reaches in for something from the back seat. And while it is not immediately apparent what the item is, it soon becomes clear. It is, in fact, a baseball bat – a blunt object for a sharp retort to the Honda driver’s objectionable roadside manner.
Clearly furious that this young punk has sidled straight into what should rightfully have been her parking space, the old woman marches over to the front of his Honda. Then she unleashes what can only be described as – well – a smashing response.
Lining up her baseball bat she lifts it high and brings it down swiftly and without mercy, crashing straight into the guy’s windshield. Three impressive swings later – a remarkable display of strength for an apparently elderly woman – and the vehicle is rendered unroadworthy. The glass over the driver’s side is well and truly shattered, with shards flaking off after every strike.
Having driven her point home, the old woman returns to her Prius and clambers back into the driver’s seat. Then, apparently still a little fazed by her outburst, she accidentally reverses her car before driving off in the same direction.
Unfortunately, the footage ends there. We don’t get the chance to see the young man return or gauge his reaction to the vengeful vandalism. We can’t imagine that it will have been particularly positive, though. After all, while it was undoubtedly unfair of him to take her spot, the scale of the revenge may have pushed things a bit too far.
Reactions to the footage online, meanwhile, have been decidedly mixed. Many commenters disagreed with the old woman’s behavior. One YouTube viewer wrote, “Meh, she is just a terrible driver,” while another remarked, “The lady didn’t even turn on her blinker… Glad that guy took her spot and glad his insurance will pay for it. Old people… learn how to drive or don’t at all please.”
Other users, however, were definitely on the Prius driver’s side. “He really deserved what she did… good job old lady,” wrote one, while another joked, “You don’t want to p*** off a grandma who’s on her way to baseball practice.”
Nevertheless, several users questioned the whole scenario, arguing that the footage had been faked. One sceptic queried, “This is so set up, so she just keeps her bat standing in the back seat? And the young punk was so hilariously dressed up as a douchebag.” Another wrote, “This is obviously fake, you’d have to be a lemming not to know this.”
Many of the points made in the argument about the incident being bogus are pretty convincing. For example, one YouTube user highlighted the fact that footage from CCTV cameras is usually of a low quality. He argued that the video image in question is just too good and had therefore probably been filmed on a normal camera with a monochrome filter. Another complained that the elderly lady “looks like a young person pretending to be an old person.”
Whatever the legitimacy of the footage, however, there is no denying the serious reality of road rage incidents. The most important question we should be addressing is whether the old lady went too far in her quest for vengeance or whether the guy who so rudely took her parking spot deserved the karmic retribution she delivered.