Don’t Let Rage Take the Wheel

Road rage can happen to anyone, even the calmest drivers can experience it. There have been many studies to find out what exactly causes road rage and the results conclude different things. From stress, to a bad morning or even traffic congestion, it all varies. The American Psychological Association actually did a study and they found that the people most likely to exhibit road rage are young males. But ultimately, both males and females experience it.

Road rage can be dangerous, a small altercation can turn deadly. The L.A. Times wrote an article about road rage and stated that, in 2021, every 18 hours someone was shot and injured or killed in a road rage incident in the United States.

If you ever encounter another driver acting aggressively, remain calm, switch lanes if possible and ignore the temptation to respond to the other driver. Responding to the aggressive driver might lead to the situation escalating. If you are ever caught in a road rage situation where the driver could be following you, keep your doors locked and drive to the nearest police station. Remember to ignore the urge to reciprocate an aggressive driver’s actions, your loved ones will thank you.

*This traffic safety topic is covered in our 8-hour California Traffic School course for traffic tickets. If you need traffic school to keep a moving violation hidden on your driving record, sign up today at https://www.trafficschool.com/california/california-traffic-school/?source=blog_03232022

The Golden Rule of Driving

Courtesy is Key

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You know that Golden Rule, “Treat others how you would like to be treated?”  Well, that applies to driving too.  Be a courteous driver just as you would like other drivers to be courteous to you.  When you lead by example with your patience and mindfulness, you can actually reduce your OWN frustration behind the wheel, as well as other drivers’ frustration.  Follow TrafficSchool.com’s tips to maintain the level of courtesy necessary to drive safely and not upset other drivers:   

  • STAY OFF YOUR PHONE!  Unless it is an emergency.
  • If you prefer to drive at a slower pace, move into the right lane.  If it’s a single lane road, look for a turnout where you can pull over so faster moving vehicles can pass you.
  • When traveling with kids, make sure you have plenty of items or toys to keep them occupied so you can focus on driving.
  • Don’t weave in and out of traffic lanes, and when you are changing lanes, always use your turn signal.
  • Avoid following other drivers too closely or “tailgating.”

Simple, right?  You don’t want to be part of a chain reaction of bad driving because you’re taking your frustration out on the road and on other drivers.  

Be the start of a courteous chain reaction instead; the Golden Rule is called “Golden” for a reason!  Go for gold!

Seeing Red

Road Rage: Do You Have It In You?

s1roadrage_web_2Road 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)