The sun went down at 8:49pm, the moon is in its last quarter, and I’m wondering if the health of a society can be pegged to the nerves of its motorists.

First off, I am a phenomenal driver with a solid resume: raised in metro Detroit, six years of food delivery, hundreds of thousands of miles of cross-country driving, and no accidents yet. I’m accustomed to the gawkers, droolers, speed freaks, and road ragers that clutter our highways. But lately, it seems like more Americans are unraveling behind the wheel

Cars drift at twenty miles per hour, veering into the gravel and weeds. Yesterday a Jeep came crashing into my lane while I idled at a red light. If I hadn’t reversed, I would have lost the front half of my car. Today a lady chewed my bumper while I puttered along in a column of slow-moving rush hour traffic. I could see her in the rearview, giving me two middle fingers, rotating her arms like a referee. Then she stuck her head out the window and screamed. She drove a Honda Civic and had a professional hairdo, which made the fury on her face more frightening. Where does this rage come from?

Strange, the psychological liberties granted by three thousand pounds of metal and a windshield. I doubt that woman would have given me two rotating middle fingers at the grocery store. Perhaps the expectation of instant access, immediate gratification, and center-of-the-worldness has spilled from our screens into our cars.