Road rage occurs when stressed-out drivers take their feelings out on other drivers and pedestrians, causing altercations or even car accidents. Car accidents caused by road rage have led to fatalities, serious personal injuries, burn injuries, and more. While many of us are stressed out, driving while emotions are running high is never a good idea.
It’s not hard to spot a driver in the throes of road rage; hand signals, shouting, swearing, and wild gestures are all typical symptoms. Sometimes, drivers in the grips of road rage will step out of their cars to yell at each other. However, in some cases, drivers have been known to use their cars as weapons in order to harm someone else or have used a weapon from their car in order to take out their rage on a victim.
Psychologists believe that road rage is relatively new, something that has occurred as a result of an increasingly stressful way of life and as a result of our growing reliance on vehicles. Road rage can range from slight aggravation to all-out fury. Even in the best of circumstances, it can affect a driver’s judgment and response times. In the worst circumstances, it can cause drivers to react erratically or even to use their cars to wilfully harm someone else.
If you encounter a driver who is driving erratically or who you may believe may be experiencing road rage, it’s important not to show emotion or strong annoyance. This can only escalate the other driver’s annoyance and can lead to a dangerous altercation. Try to stay calm and avoid provoking such drivers. If possible, move away from vehicles possibly driven by people in the throes of road rage.
If an angered motorist approaches the front you, don’t respond to their actions or words. Make sure that your car and windows are locked and avoid eye contact with the angry driver. Try to alert the authorities as quickly as possible. If an angry driver in is following you, drive to the local police station. Do not drive home, since you do not want the driver to know where you live.
If you find yourself acting enraged in an incident on the road, try to catch yourself and apologize as quickly as possible. Try to soothe over the situation. Avoid contact with any motorists who are enraged as well and strong body language and eye contact can fray tempers. Try to back out of the situation as quickly as possible before it escalates.