Road rage affects the majority of drivers and contributes to many fatalities each year.
Some people are saints out on the road. They are polite, defensive, and never lose their cool. Others are the exact opposite. Their tempers flare easily, and they get caught up in a fit of road rage. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is hazardous for them and the people around them. After a few months or years of doing this, they may unfortunately end up in a severe auto accident. The best way to avoid this is to keep your cool when driving. Below, we explain common triggers, why road rage is so dangerous, and how to prevent it.
A few typical situations that elicit road rage are being cut off, not being allowed to pass, being tailgated, receiving obscene gestures, and being caught behind a slower driver.
Why It Is Dangerous
Though drunk driving steals the headlines, experts believe that aggressive driving is the number one cause of accidents in the US. In fact, AAA believes that over half of all car accident fatalities are due to at least one party being angry and aggressive. If you think about times you or somebody else have been mad on the road, this makes a lot of sense. A person filled with rage not only loses their concentration, but may deliberately start driving in an unsafe manner. They may engage in some of the most dangerous driving acts, like rapid lane changing or tailgating, to try and battle it out with another driver. These acts lead to crashes, and crashes often lead to deaths.
Tips for Avoidance
Fighting against road rage is very similar to suppressing anger in other contexts. A few of the most useful tips include:
Listen To Soothing Music – A tough day in traffic is not the best time to break out your most hardcore music. It will only contribute to your anger and make you more unsafe. Instead, opt for calming music like classical or jazz.
Calmly Get Away From Annoyances – If a car in front of you is going too slow or a car behind you is tailgating, getting angry is not going to solve your problem. If you can, get some distance between you and whoever is bothering you.
Don’t Engage With Angry Drivers – One of the most common ways people get roped into road rage is when other angry drivers start to show aggression. When this happens, take a deep breath and remember that there are more important things in life. Do not make eye contact or be aggressive with the other driver and they will soon lose interest.
Another finding from AAA is that 80% of drivers have experienced significant road rage within the last year. That means that this anger on the road is not a small issue. It affects the majority of drivers and contributes to many fatalities every year. You can do your part to reverse this trend by recognizing your road rage triggers and doing your best to avoid losing your temper. If you end up in a St. Louis car accident with an aggressive driver, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.