How To Deal With It
Road rage is a growing problem on our highways. Learning
how to deal with road rage can help you sidestep the dangerous
nightmare that often follows an aggressive road rage incident.
Back Off from Aggressive Drivers
You must realize that you can't control another driver's
behavior, but you can control your own. When another driver
cuts you off, how you react will determine what happens
next. If you are able to back off, take a deep breath, and
remain calm, then you can defuse a potentially violent situation.
True, you might need to vent about the driver tailgating
you all the way from town or the overly cautious motorist
who consistently drove 10 mph under the speed limit. Venting
your frustration is normal and healthy, so long as you vent
Talk to a friend or family member about the driving experience?telling
the story can relieve your stress. Some driving clubs or
online discussions offer members a chance to vent their
Know Your Own Driving Style
What if you are the aggressive driver? Analyze your driving
style and whether you are susceptible to road rage; then
consider changing your own driving habits.
Changing your driving habits is not easy. You'll need to
practice and study safer driving habits. Consider signing
up for a driver's education course or better yet, personalized
Of course, the other extreme is the instigator?the driver
who infuriates other drivers by driving under the speed
limit, skipping turn signals, slowing down early for exits,
accelerating unevenly, and hogging lanes. If this sounds
like you, maybe you've already been the victim of road rage.
If you are the instigator and have avoided a road rage confrontation,
then congratulations. Regardless, now is the time to improve
your own driving habits before you provoke a bad situation.
Remember, you are sharing the road with other motorists,
pedestrians, and cyclists. It is only fair for you to recognize
that people are going to work, school, or important appointments?and
driving under the speed limit is inconsiderate. You can
pull over and let others pass by.
Medical Basis for Road Rage
Why do some drivers get worked up during the daily commute?
Some doctors believe there is a medical basis for road rage.
The National Institute of Health sponsored a study that
looked at road rage in drivers.
In 5% to 7% of the nearly 10,000 drivers studied, road rage
behavior was present. A general theory came out of the study,
and Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) was identified
as the cause of road rage.
Losing your temper used to be just bad form; now it has
a diagnosis and can begin in the early teens. People diagnosed
with IED have had multiple outbursts that are way out of
proportion to the situation at hand. Generally, someone
gets hurt or property is damaged.
Whether or not you believe in a medical basis for road rage,
you still need to know how to deal with it. Uncertain situations
can escalate unpredictably, and the best advice is to avoid
confrontations altogether. If you tend to provoke other
drivers or are on the aggressive side of road rage, put
some effort into learning new driving habits.
And for those of us who run the middle of the road, maintain
those defensive driving skills and keep a watchful eye on
developing hazardous situations.
More information is available at RoadRagers.com,
which offers a free online analysis of your driving style.