Road rage has become pandemic. People fighting, shooting – even killing – over such trivial things as lane access and speed limits, merging and parking. Social scientists are full of theories as to its rise: an increasingly polarized culture, racism, the availability of guns.
The more obvious answer, to my thinking, is the simple loss of civility. But a very particular loss. Road rage is the elevation of something that is, in fact, trivial to the level of enormity. You drive slow, I become enraged. You take "my" parking spot, it's a fight. You cut me off, I pull out a gun.