*Previously published on examiner.com
Though the cases of road rage that the media covers have declined, road rage is still an issue for drivers around the country. It’s certainly an issue for big city drivers like those in Dallas, which has been listed as the city with the 3rd highest incidents of road rage. Most of us have personally witnessed road rage or have been the victims of it.
Have you ever been flipped off in traffic or read the lips of a driver obviously screaming at you from inside their car? Maybe you pulled out in front of them because you didn’t see them? Possibly they thought you just weren’t driving fast enough on the highway in front of them? Regardless of the cause of their anger, it is a form of road rage.
What are some reasons for road rage?
1-Traffic congestion- Stop and go traffic is maddening and can cause a loss of patience. We can’t control the traffic, but we can control our reactions to it.
2- Aggressive driving- Cutting off other drivers, tail gating, and unsafe lane changes and swerving in and out of traffic are signs of an aggressive driver. Those around that driver may experience their own road rage when they feel their life has been put in jeopardy because of the aggressive driver.
3-Traffic accidents- In most traffic accidents, someone was in the right and someone was in the wrong. The problem arises when the accident victims cannot agree on who caused it. As a police officer I witnessed and arrested accident victims who lost their temper and punched or hit the other driver.
4- Disregard for others- Some drivers simply have no regard for other drivers, pedestrians or the law. They view the roads and highways as their own personal driving space, and you are simply in their way. Speed limit, what speed limit? They are in a hurry, often for no real reason. As much as you getting in their way can cause them road rage, they can cause road rage to the people they are disregarding and endangering on the road.
5- Feeling a loss of control- We can’t control other people’s driving habits or traffic congestion, and this leaves us feeling a loss of control that can lead to anger. When drivers are angry, they can react in ways they would normally never react. Cussing, flipping people off, chasing other cars, running them off the road and much worse have resulted from drivers with road rage.
How can we stop road rage?
Show courtesy to your fellow drivers. When you are feeling angry behind the wheel, take a deep breath and relax. If you know you have to be somewhere at a certain time, leave a little early to allow for traffic conditions. Don’t take the other drivers bad driving habits as a personal attack on you. Practice safe driving. Aggressive driving leads to accidents, injuries and even death.
You can take an online quiz to see if you qualify as an aggressive driver or road rage driver by clickinghere.
Related articles by Sherri Thornhill:
Dallas Property Tax Increase Wrong for Residents
Domestic Violence: What Happens When You Call Police
When to Call 911
Police Officer’s Are Human
Source: My experience as a police officer and driver for 25 years.