Even the nicest of people can change when getting behind the wheel of a car. The smallest of things can set them off, causing them to exhibit signs of road rage, from slamming down hard on their horns to shouting expletives at other drivers. In extreme cases, they might even drive in a threatening manner, causing accident and injury to other road users.
Have you ever been the victim of road rage, or have you (dare we say it) been the person who has transformed into a Hulk-like monster when driving a car yourself? Chances are, you have probably been the victim and instigator of such behavior. So what can you do about it? Read on to find out more.
What causes road rage?
We get angry because we are stressed, and this can be due to internal factors in our own lives, as well as those external factors on the road. You may be stuck in heavy traffic, for example, so your frustration level will be high. You may see somebody else behaving erratically, perhaps using their phone while driving, or tailgating you from behind. Somebody might cut you off at a junction, causing you to swerve or stop, and your anger levels will rise as a result. Any of these things can cause road rage, and in some cases, dangerously so.
Keep calm and carry on
When dealing with your own road rage, consider the following.
1. When possible, don’t drive when already feeling stressed. If you are prone to fits of anger out of the car, it is only going to get worse when driving. Our stress-free tips might be helpful to you.
2. Think about the consequences of your behaviour when driving. By reacting in anger, you may end up causing an injury or fatality, which in turn will lead to you losing your license, going to jail and dealing with feelings of guilt.
3. Remember the law. By honking your horn and flashing your lights at other drivers in rage, you are breaking traffic laws that can be enforceable with a fine.
4. When feeling angry, take a deep breathe, and practice relaxation techniques. Alternatively, pull over where it is safe to do so, and quit driving until you are in a calmer frame of mind.
Safe and sensible is the way forward
If you are the victim of road rage, practice the following.
1. For starters, don’t do anything that is going to incur the wrath of your fellow driver. Be a safe driver by adhering to traffic laws, and you are less likely to become a victim in the first place.
2. Don’t react by getting angry yourself. This is only going to make the situation worse, and an accident is more likely to happen if you engage in road wars.
3. If somebody acts aggressively towards you, ignore them. Avoid eye contact, don’t react, and if you need to, pull over until they have left your sight of view.
4. Protect yourself with a dash cam. These handy devices will record the dangerous actions of others, and if an accident does occur, footage can be used by specialist lawyers such as Edwards & Patterson to help you win your case.
Every year, thousands of people are killed or injured on our roads, and road rage is a factor behind some of these. Don’t be another statistic; follow our advice and protect yourself (and others) when driving. Your life and reputation depend on it.