How to Identify and Avoid Road Rage In Yourself and Others

January 27, 2012

The feeling of road rage is a feeling of extreme anger that kills hundreds of people every year. A typical situation occurs when suddenly a car just cut in front of the driver. The driver gets mad and their anger begins to rise. The imagery scene of ramming the car into the other car begins to form in the driver’s mind. Another typical situation will be in traffic jams where people are on their way to work, lose their patience and beep their horn loudly at other drivers. Drivers display rude gestures at each other and soon road rage will occur. So how can we prevent road rage within ourselves, and what do we do if we encounter another driver with road rage?

Difference between Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

Before going into the solution, we need to know the difference between aggressive driving and road rage. When a person engages in aggressive driving, what the driver has done is committed a traffic offense or a series of. Such offenses include tailgating, unsafe lane changes, failing to use proper signal lights, or other forms of inconsiderate driving.

Sometimes the driver may get stuck in a traffic jam. Fearing that he or she may be late for work, they start cutting corners that are considered dangerous to other drivers. Such actions can take others by surprise. Meanwhile, the offending driver will just move on and continue driving, completely oblivious to their actions.

Road rage on the other hand is the retaliatory actions taken after the aggressive actions occur. The other driver may get indignant so much that they feel like taking revenge or punishing the other driver.

Road rage can sometimes get violent with physical weapons used. Sometimes, the action can be just minor. Like for example, a car driving behind a truck on a one lane road feels angry at the truck driver for driving slower. Sometimes, aggressive driving may not be done out of anger but due to negligence of the driver. Like, for example the driver may have forgotten to turn on the turn signal. Most drivers know that forgetting to turn on the signal light is common behavior.

Handling Your Own Road Rage

If the anger within you starts to rise and the feeling of revenge is overwhelming you, consider turning on the radio to listen to some soothing music. It can really calm you down a lot and refocus your thoughts on something else other than the driver. Another way to think that the driver has made a blunder, rather than being purposeful to make you mad. Maybe they just forgot to switch on the signal lights or be someone who just got their license. Remember, it is not your fault, and there is no need to take revenge.

Handling other People’s Road Rage

If you ever encounter other people’s road rage, the first thing is not to fight back. If possible, say sorry to the driver regardless of whether you think you have made a mistake. Sometimes, saying sorry can really calm the other driver down. Never ever return a rude gesture with another rude gesture, for that will surely escalate the conflict.