AAA’s statistics show that nearly 80% of drivers admit to having a road rage scene after being cut off, held up by a slow driver or getting into an accident. As common as it is to admitting having feelings of expressing frustration on the highway, road rage is happening frequently on the road and it makes it more of a dangerous place.
Psychologist Stan Steindl analyzed the reason for road rage and why it occurs so much. He connects our natural motivation to obtain and achieve with road rage. When our achievements and expectations are blocked or threatened, we tend to respond with anger. Even if our motive is simply getting to one place to another.
Although rage is a normal emotion for us humans, responding with rage on the highway can be very dangerous for you and other drivers. Here’s a number of reasons why drivers should avoid road rage:
Anger is Not Good for The Heart
Harvard Public School of Health says that uncontrollable anger and rage can potentially cause a stroke or heart attack. Anger is connected to mental stress, which increases blood pressure causing blood clots.
You Might Think You’re The World’s Greatest Driver…
But you’re not. Most motorists believe they are exceptional drivers who would never get into an accident caused by their own negligence. This illusion is where blaming comes from. Another small factor that quickly leads to road rage.
In reality not everyone is a perfect driver. Not even those people who had never gotten a ticket or fender bender. Avoid the blame game and deflate the driving ego. Accept driving mistakes and handle it rationally if you are involved.
The Consequences of The Law
Road rage scenarios that involve confrontations or obstruction of traffic, can lead to consequences by state law. This includes and is not limited to: traffic tickets, arrests, license suspension, lawsuits or jail time depending on the damage of the situation.
Extreme Cases of Road Rage
When thinking about road rage, most of us can imagine a shouting match between two hot headed drivers about who cut off who. But shockingly, there has been occurrences where road rage goes way too far.
Earlier this year, an Atlanta driver was shot and wounded all because of a bad case of road rage from an excusable driving error. According to news sources, the aggressor had opened fired on the sedan after he was cut off.
Road rage could start off with bickering and a showing certain finger. But, there is a chance that it could escalate and get physical if two mad drivers keep provoking each other.
It Can Be Fatal!
Long ago, AAA conducted a study in 1990, where they discovered that road rage is linked to 218 deaths caused by drivers in a blind rage. What’s more shocking is the reason for these deaths are not just caused by aggressive and reckless driving. Over 30% of these deaths were caused by a firearm.
Ways to Combat Road Rage and Avoid Conflict
If you ever get in a situation that gets your blood boiling or confronted with an angry driver, here are some effective yet simple tips you can use to help diffuse your road rage and prevent incidents that could set it off:
- Try not to drive when faced with bad emotions. If you are facing emotional distress, best thing to do is avoid getting behind the wheel if you must.
- Always plan ahead and leave time. Often, rushed drivers are the ones that can easily get mad if they don’t get to the place they need to be in time. Leave early and look up traffic reports before you plan a trip.
- Never use your horn in a provoking way. The car horn should only be used to alert other drivers or pedestrians and prevent an accident.
- When you aren’t driving, try to get as much sleep as you can. Not only is a well-rested driver more attentive, but they are also calmer.
- Lower your anger with a little of your favorite music in your car. Loosen your body and let yourself relax with deep breathing.
- If you see an aggressive driver or a driver who is showing disturbing signs of rage, then it would be a good idea to report it to the police.
- Be the better person. If a driver is getting on your nerves or if you are the one that’s making another driver angry, just let them go.
- Avoid bad driving habits such as: texting while driving, speeding, weaving through traffic and tailgating. A reckless driver is more prone to cause road rage than a careful one.
- If you happen to get an accident with someone, don’t try to settle the situation on your own. If you are faced with an accident or put in danger with a hostile driver, get professional help. A car accident attorney will help you find compensation for any damages and take the reckless driver to court to handle it lawfully.