Road rage refers to the intense anger that is generated by driving-related incidents and inconveniences. Most often, it is used in a retaliatory manner – the angry driver believes they have been wronged in one way or another, and then they get mad at the victim.
Road rage is usually characterized by shouting and swearing, but this is not always true. In some cases, road rage has led to violence. Road rage has been responsible for around 12610 injuries and 218 murders in the last 7 years. These statistics are not intended to alarmist but to show the reality and potential of taking escalators action against strangers on roads.
The Most Common Types of Road Rage
Everyone is unique, so it’s difficult to predict how someone will respond when they are disrespected. Road rage can be caused by anger issues. It is the inability to control emotions and one’s behavior, which can manifest as road rage. Road rage can manifest in many forms, including:
- Follow the alleged wrongdoer
- Obstructing traffic and preventing drivers from changing lanes
- To cut off other cars
- Start a confrontation outside the car
- Intentionally ramming
- Walking on the median or sidewalk is not allowed
Road Rage: 4 Causes
Road rage can be a temporary reaction to the reckless behavior of others. It becomes more serious when it feels like you have to take revenge.
Although it is difficult to predict exactly what causes someone to become aggressive, these are some of the most common road rage factors:
Heavy traffic While nobody likes to sit in traffic, seriously impatient drivers can get frustrated faster. Smaller inconveniences might make this person more likely to leave.
Anonymity For some, the road feels like the internet. You can communicate with someone and then probably never see them again. This attitude encourages drivers to be more confident and less anxious about cutting off, honking, or gesturing.
Distracted driving/texting It can be frightening to see a distracted driver drive erratically or swerve in an attempt to avoid you. This can lead to anger at the driver. It is safer and more efficient to either avoid them or pull over to call the authorities rather than confront them.
Impatience Impatient drivers are more likely than others to drive erratically because they think their appointments are more important than everyone else’s.
How to Prevent Road Rage
Be on time. Habitual lateness is a driving factor in unsafe driving. Before you leave, make sure to check traffic reports for delays, construction and traffic crashes. You should allow yourself enough time to get to your destination.
Get to sleep first. If you’re already angry, don’t drive. For example, if you have just had an argument, and you go for a drive to let off steam, it’s more likely that you will be set off by minor, insignificant events.
Do not honk excessively. In certain situations, a light honk may be appropriate (e.g. You might be able to see the person in front of you at a green signal, but honking because of frustration can cause you to be unproductive and annoying to everyone around you.
Be compassionate. Nobody is perfect, and nobody is trying to take you down. Don’t take it all personally. Try to imagine yourself as the person they are. There are always two sides to any story. Don’t judge too quickly.
What to do if you are a victim of road rage
There are steps you can take to reduce the chance of being the victim of another’s road rage if you are driving and are caught in the crossfire.
Be calm. Don’t make rude gestures, break checking or block the other driver.
Maintain a safe distance. Avoid driving erratically close to other drivers to exact revenge. Avoid speeding or weaving in and out of traffic to escape this person. Instead, try to stay clear if you can.
Do not stop (unless there is a stop sign or stop light). Parking in a lot could be taken as an invitation for confrontation that could escalate into violence.
Go to the nearest station. This is the best way to get away from a driver who is tailgating, harassing, or following you. They’ll most likely continue on their way, but if they dare to follow you, you should go into the station and inform the police.
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