We see it, hear about it, and read about it more frequently than we should. Road rage has become a serious problem that can lead to assault, altercations, car accidents, and even death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 1990 and 1997 approximately 13,000 people were injured or killed in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver. Some statistics indicate that as many as 1,500 people are killed or injured in road rage accidents each year.
Road rage is defined as angry or aggressive behavior by the driver of an automobile or other type of vehicle. Actions can include rude gestures, verbal insults, and reckless driving that might put other motorists in danger. Unfortunately, this type of behavior can also go beyond the roadways, as some incidents will end up with confrontations in parking lots or someone’s driveway.
Here are some ways you can keep yourself from being involved in a road rage incident:
- Try to avoid driving when you’re stressed or already angry.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to be. You shouldn’t have to speed, tailgate or drive recklessly to get somewhere on time.
- Try listening to soothing, mellow music. If it doesn’t distract you, try books on tape as well.
- If you get stuck in traffic, get comfortable and avoid becoming angry over a situation you cannot control.
- Try using public transportation to escape the stress of being on the road, especially during high traffic hours.
If you find that another driver is behaving aggressively, do not challenge them or make crude gestures towards them. If possible, avoid these drivers altogether as the simplest actions could set them off.