Road Rage: A Violent Reaction to Incidents Involving Motor Vehicles

Aggressive Behavior from Drivers

Overwhelmed by stress and frustration under difficult circumstances – has become far too common. Something as minor as tailgating or speeding has led to confrontations that often turn physical and fatal. The National Safety Council reports motorists consider road rage a major threat when traveling on highways.

When you are on the road, here is some information you should keep in mind about road rage.

Common Incidents that Lead to Road Rage

It is believed the stress in our daily lives has pushed many of us over the edge and we tend to bubble over this while sitting in traffic. With our minds flooded with what we have to do, what we can’t do and why, we are too quick to blow the smallest incident out of proportion. If the other driver is like-minded, road rage is inevitable.

• One driver angered over being cut off.
• Annoyed at being honked at.
• Disputes over a parking space.
• Stuck behind someone driving slow.
• Driver insulted over being given the finger.
• Being tailgated.
• Frustration over not being allowed to pass.

Reasons to Avoid Road Rage

Whatever happens on the road with someone in another car is not worth injury. It certainly isn’t worth your life. And while no one plans to be involved in an incident, powerful and negative emotions do take over. We must consider our actions carefully before reacting to an incident on the road. Do you want to get into a confrontation or go home to loved ones?

• Aggressive driving and road rage are responsible for close to 70% of traffic fatalities.
• It has been established that half the drivers who are faced with aggressive driving behavior will become aggressive in retaliation.
• Firearms are involved in almost 40% of all road rage incidents.
• Over a seven year period, of the 10,000 reported road rage incidents, 12,610 injuries were recorded and deaths totaled 218.

Ways to Avoid Road Rage

You will never be able to control the actions of others. The only real way to avoid an incident is to control yourself. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into an argument, even if in an accident. Think before you react. And keep in mind the following situations and how to manage them.

• If you are being tailgated, let them pass.
• Try to defuse a situation with a gesture that indicates no harm was intended.
• Give yourself sufficient time to travel. Many road rage incidents result when one of the drivers becomes frustrated over being held up.
• Take care to engage in proper driving etiquette, remaining courteous and generous to fellow drivers.
• Listen to something that soothes you, an audio book or music.
• Apply the horn sparingly.
• When drivers get angry, avoid eye contact and show down so that they can pass you.