When Boors Drive Cars

September 12th, 2011

A classic Catholic Digest article from 1954

Photo from


“Road Rage.” We read about it all the time. The term bespeaks our stressed-out lives as commuters living with an endless nightmare of bumper-to-bumper traffic, and taking out our hair-trigger anger on any driver or pedestrian who gets in our way.  


These days road rage is a favorite subject of many critics of our modern society — they seem to believe that the increase in angry drivers reflects the loss of a kinder, gentler, more polite and religious age that is quickly being replaced by a barbarian horde of angry, selfish, narcissists. Remember back to the days when people were well-mannered and nobody had heard of road rage?


Actually most of us can remember a time before “road rage,” because the term seems to have been coined in 1988. Its usage grew slowly the first few years, but then exploded into our media consciousness. Soon we were hearing about it everywhere, giving us the impression that road rage was both a new and a rapidly growing problem.


But as this classic article from 1954 reminds us, road rage was with us long before the term appeared. It’s been a major problem since the invention of the automobile and has probably been with us since the days of the first oxcarts. And we don’t need a modern term like “road rage” to recognize ourselves, or someone we know, in the behavior described here.


So here from June 1954 is “When Boors Drive Cars.”


Dan Connors



Click here to read this classic article