The weather is hot outside. That doesn’t mean you have free reign to get heated on the road though. eTags recently published a post about road rage, and it is something that all of us should be aware of. It could mean the difference between life and death. Seriously.
The NHTSA defines road rage as a driver “committing moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapons by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.”
Road rage is a thing, and it is a significant cause of fatal crashes. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving and road rage. Thirty-seven percent of those crashes involved a firearm.
eTags’ post includes information on what causes road rage. In short, it is characterized by a need to control all situations on the road, including other drivers’ actions. It can come up without warning, and the consequences can be quite severe. In addition to property damage, injury, or even death, those who are at fault of a situation due to road rage could be charged criminally for their actions. Road rage is much more severe than aggressive driving alone.
If you know that you can get heated sometimes on the road, you should actively pursue ways to reduce road rage. Here are a few tips from eTags that you might want to consider doing to prevent escalation on the road:
- Practice stress breathing to take control of the situation and squash your immediate emotions.
- Put things into perspective by separating yourself from the situation and remaining positive.
- Don’t treat other cars on the road as “just cars.” The person behind the wheel probably has a family and people who love him or her.
- If someone is tailgating you, move over.
- Make an apologetic gesture if you are the one who was at fault to diffuse the situation.
- Avoid speeding and other forms of aggressive driving that may cause a road rage situation.
The next time you are on the road and have been cut off or are given a rude gesture, please keep these things in mind to avoid an escalated situation that could end up in someone getting hurt.