Say NO to Road Rage

The world can be a busy stressful place and with more and more people on the highways and streets of cities both large and small, road rage is fast becoming an epidemic. It can be as simple as waving an arm at a driver to all out shouting matches to physical fighting to even shots being fired. Road rage does not affect only those people who are naturally belligerent; it can even affect the most mild-tempered people. Before you take your life on to the highways and by-ways of your town it is smart to understand what road rage is, how to spot it and what you can do about it.

What is Road Rage?

Road rage in simple terms is the violent behavior by a driver of an automobile. It often stems from frustration at heavy traffic, rude drivers, noise from outside or even within your own car. It can even stem from frustrations in your life such as stress and lack of time.

Spotting the Signs of Road Rage

We all get stressed from time to time due life situations and it is not uncommon to take it out on others if we have not channeled our frustrations properly. It is never wise to take it on other drivers. Your car can easily become a deadly weapon. If stress is starting to eat at you and you catch yourself starting to take it out on drivers, you need to put an end to it quickly.

What are things some people in road rage mode do? Tailgating drivers is a big one. This is dangerous because a quick unexpected stop can cause an accident. It also is a first step in the breakdown of friendly driving. This can then lead to honking your horn or flashing your lights at the driver that irritates you. It is not only menacing to that driver but can irritate or startle and confuse other drivers around you, making driving conditions hard for other drivers. Often times you may find yourself shouting at other drivers irregardless of whether they can see you or not. You may decide your time and issues are more important and dangerously begin to swerve in and out of traffic to get ahead of other drivers. This is a catalyst that can easily lead to an accident or worse death.

You also need to make sure that you avoid people who are in the midst of road rage. Do not engage in their actions no matter how nasty they get. If you are able pull over or get off at an exit to avoid contact, it will allow you to move on and calm down. Taking that time just might save you from further stress at the hands of a person with road rage. Consider taking down their license plate number and calling authorities if it seems like the person is getting out of hand.

Being Pro-active in Order to Avoid Road Rage

The biggest thing you can do is relax. Remember most drivers are not out to get you. They just may have cut you off without even realizing it. Make sure that you are well-rested to avoid conflict on the road. Lack of sleep not only leads to car accidents but it makes drivers irritable on the road. This makes drivers more likely to lash out at others. Try to avoid driving when tired or try to have another person drive if you are tired. Listen to soothing calming music rather than aggressive loud music when you are tense while driving. Loud music can elevate tension. So it is wise to save it for when you are not on the road. Avoid using your cellphone as that is an unsafe thing to do while driving and can cause another distraction that can add to your stress. If the pressures of traffic get to you, consider opening the window for fresh air, or stopping for a small break. A change of scenery can do wonders for almost anyone.

It is very hard not to panic when you are already late or you are lost and you get stuck behind the slowest driver on the face of the earth. Frustration bubbles up easy, and can cause you to go right into aggressive driving mode. You may need to hold back or move to a different lane. Take a deep breath and let the stress out. It is better to go slower and release the negative energy than to get into an accident or altercation because you were stressed. Make sure that you know where you are going. You may even consider making sure you have alternate routes to where you are going in case traffic patterns are not what you expected.

Road rage can affect anyone. Making sure you are prepared is very important. The time, effort, and patience you put into avoiding road rage can save you extra frustration, time, and even help you avoid accidents to your car, others or to yourself.