Road Rage: Recognize, Realize, and Prevent

Road rage is a newer term given to those aggressive drivers that are increasing in numbers on the roads. We have all seen them: the tailgaters pressing a slower driver to speed up, the aggressive lane changers passing and weaving through traffic, the horn blowers, and the gesture-givers. Irate drivers exude risk-taking behavior and often have no safety regard for themselves or others. Recognizing road rage is an important step to resolving the issue within you, or preventing yourself from falling victim to the dangers others create with it.

If you find yourself guilty of the above offenses, take a moment to consider what is causing your aggression when driving. Realizing the cause of the behavior will help change and prevent it. A few things that may help alleviate aggressive driving are:

  • Don’t drive while you are upset, take a moment to relax before getting behind the wheel.
  • Are you always rushing or running late? Giving yourself additional time to reach your destination can remove some stress from your drive.
  • Listening to soothing music or your favorite songs at a lower volume may also help create a calmer drive.
  • Avoiding high traffic areas or times of the day if at all possible can be helpful as well.

Keep a few things in mind when witnessing or encountering an aggressive driver.

  • Do not react to the driver’s intrusive behavior, allow them to drive ahead.
  • Ignoring the driver and not engaging in argument or exchanging similar behavior may alleviate the situation.
  • If a person is followed or pursued by an aggressive driver, he or she should drive to a nearby police station or have a passenger call 911. Outrunning or following an aggressive driver can create the opportunity for an accident or other harmful situation.

Reckless and aggressive drivers raise the chance for accidents and the risk of injury or death to themselves and the other drivers and passengers around them. With increased knowledge of the situation many states now have laws against aggressive driving and violators can be ticketed and fined for this behavior. All drivers have the responsibility to maintain safe driving habits on the road for their own sake as well as their passengers.