Moving from one lane to another in traffic is a delicate dance involving at least two drivers that when done well goes off smoothly. Ideally, the person wishing to change lanes signals their intention and the person already in that lane drops back and allows them to do so, sometimes signaling that they have created space by flashing their headlights or even a gentle honk of the horn. Then after merging, the lane changer thanks the other driver with the standard signal of the raised forward facing flat palm. Most of the time, that is what happens, and life is good.
But for some drivers, letting another driver merge into your lane is seen as a challenge to one’s pride, dignity, and authority that must be fought, by speeding up or otherwise obstructing the driver who is trying to merge. If that happens to me, I just wait until a more obliging driver comes along, and they inevitably do. Fortunately, in the Cleveland area, drivers are generally courteous and will let you in.
But Mark Frauenfelder provides an example where two drivers go bonkers and fight for the same position even after their cars have sideswiped each other.
Some people are just weird.