It is a discussion that few people have, but more people should. There are quiet murmurings, aggressive eye-rolling, tight-lipped staring, and at times actual words are spoken in anger. Issues with road rage are well documented and discussed, but it is time to talk about the silent cousin, shopping cart road rage.


It begins before entering the actual store. Carts that have not been returned to the cart corral litter the parking lot taking up empty spaces that could have been used for a vehicle. At times, these errant offenders blow across the lot on a windy day without regard for any obstacle with which it comes into contact.

Once inside the store, a separation from the permanently entangled line of carts is a time-consuming frustration. Why do the straps from the child safety belts need to entwine themselves with the next cart? Then it is a new challenge finding a cart with all 4 wheels functioning. Now that all participants are moderately annoyed, it is time to enter the store.

How To Identify the Worst Cart Etiquette Offenders

Along the aisles, another experience awaits. What kind of shoppers are in the store today?

  • Parkers leave the cart in one spot to peruse the opposite side of the aisle blocking traffic from moving around them.
  • Phone talkers slowly walk the aisle while on speaker getting advice on which ointment they should purchase and why.
  • Hoggers walk side by side with their whole party of people blocking both shoppers facing the opposite direction and shoppers trying to pass going the same direction.
  • Speeders run over anyone in their path without regard for the flow of traffic or errant children.
  • Wanderers walk through the middle of the aisle with nary a concern for anyone around them.
  • Abandoners leave their cart regardless of children that may be inside to find something in another aisle.
  • Crowders shop behind so close as to be in danger of hitting the ankles of the shopper ahead of them.
  • Europeans walk on the wrong side of the aisle.
  • Thrillers push each other around inside the cart endangering anyone in close proximity.
  • Employee personal shoppers carts take up the whole aisle and they can’t see when they run into other shoppers.
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With all this to deal with on top of the 'newly remodeled' store with mislabeled signs above each aisle, it’s no wonder shopping cart rage is a thing. Are you a victim, or an offender?

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