For some people, when a football game does not go their team’s way or when frustrations from work are just too much, they may end up taking their anger out while out of the road. Driving angry, which can easily slip into road rage, is an all too common fact in our lives and it can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities.
Road rage has become so prevalent, it is likely that most people don’t need to get into the car already in a bad mood to have it happen to them. Dealing with normal traffic situations seem to be enough of a trigger. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released information stating that 78 percent of respondents to a survey reported that they had engaged in at least one act of aggression towards another driver in the past year.
What is classified as road rage?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage is defined as a driver engaging in one or more dangerous and illegal maneuvers that can put other people and property in a dangerous situation. Here are common road rage tactics another driver may exhibit:
- Honking and flashing lights at you
- Cutting you off
- Speeding around you
- Ignoring traffic laws
- Obscene gestures or yelling at you
- Not yielding or driving erratically
How should you respond to road rage?
f you encounter a driver that is driving aggressively or has become angered by an incident on the road, before you become as reckless as they are in retaliation, consider doing these things first:
- Know your limits – If you see another driver is acting in an aggressive manner that you may feel could set you off, you should pull over to the side of the road. You may want to have a passenger take over driving. Accidents with injuries or even death are more common when road rage incidents are escalated.
- Try to calm yourself down – Road rage is common because people try to make their car do the talking for them. Typically, drivers want to let people know they are in a hurry, frustrated or angered by something. You do not need to talk back. Turn on the radio with calming music or veer off the main road and take the long way to your destination.
- Show understanding – The other driver may be mad because of a mistake you made on the road. Instead of getting emotional yourself because they overreacted, try to understand their anger and do your best to let it go and not take it personally.
Road rage may not be coming from someone else, if you are the one engaging in aggressive driving, you should also try to follow the tips listed above. Having to deal with a lifelong injury or a fatality from a road rage accident will most likely in retrospect, not be something you feel was worth it.