Road Rage: Do You Have It In You?
Road rage. We all have a little bit in us. No? Remember that time when the vehicle in front of you was driving so obnoxiously slow that if you got out of your car and walked, you’d probably make it to your destination a lot faster? Or how about the driver who continuously slammed on his breaks causing you to do the same, for absolutely no reason at all? Yes, I’m sure you remember moments like this. You may even remember how you felt, the choice of words you used, and the amount of frustration endured. However, some of us choose to take this anger and act upon it in ways that presents not only self-danger, but danger to other motorists on the road as well.
Road rage is defined as aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even deaths.
So, if you are ever confronted with an aggressive driver, what should you do?
1. Avoid direct eye contact with a driver who appears to be agitated. Many people associate eye contact with a challenge or threat. Even a friendly smile can be misinterpreted as a sarcastic threat.
2. Put Your Pride Aside. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
3. Gestures. Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
4. Report Serious Aggressive Driving. You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.
Aggressive driving contributes to 56 percent of all fatal car crashes, so next time think twice before you react!
(Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)