What is Road Rage?
Here is a very frightening statistic: Road Rage accidents are now the leading cause of death for our children.
We have all gotten behind the wheel upset at one time or another. Some of us have driven at one time or another with a couple of drinks in our system or have become distracted by a cell phone or a conversation with a passenger in the vehicle.
Most of us know how things affect us and keep distractions to a minimum while behind the wheel.
But there are many external factors that can and do affect driving safety. For example:
Fatigue. You left work tired or lack of a good night´s sleep.
- Our emotional state can have a serious effect on our driving. In fact, stress can impair our driving.
Worried, upset, frightened, depressed, or even happily excited can impair our driving skills and negatively impact our ability to concentrate.
Intense phone call, arguments over the love or intimate conversations can be a distraction while driving.
Alcoholic beverages are known to slow down reflexes.
Of course, there are times when driving under stressful conditions is unavoidable, especially if we are dealing with an emergency such as sudden illness or death of a loved one.
Work and work related situations can impact our driving. For example: an argument with a co-worker or boss can be particularly upsetting.
If you find that you must drive while under emotional turmoil, consider following these safety rules:
- If you are annoyed, angry or upset due to something that has to do with driving or a driving incident pull over and gain your composure stay off of the road until you have time to settle down. Take a moment and close your eyes take a few deep breaths and relax. If necessary, take a short walk, or go get something to drink (non-alcoholic.)
- If you are behind the wheel and find that your mind begins to wonder and you are drifting into worry, depression, or if you are thinking too closely about something specific that occurred at work or at home, make every effort to put it out of your mind and stop the car as soon as it is safe. Maybe music will help you change the focus of your thoughts.
- If on the other hand you are feeling rushed, in a hurry to get home or to work. Consequently, you are feeling impatient, and rushed, then tray your best to slow down. Remember, the object is to get where you are going safely. Don’t increase your problems by getting a speeding ticket or getting into an accident. Regardless of how rushed you are, stop at all traffic signals and lights, your life be depend on it. Remember regardless of how rushed you are, stop at railroad crossings. NEVER drive around the gates or try to beat an oncoming train.
It is a known fact that human beings faced with negative or positive intense emotions have exhibited a distraction level even more serious than those experienced by cell phone users. These emotions can cause otherwise excellent drivers to:
- Have lower or otherwise impaired reflex and reaction times.
- May fail to recognize situations, such as rapid changes in driving situations, traffic or debris in the road.
- Get to the point that they are unable to predict or to determine what the other drivers around us are doing.
- Make risky maneuvers and risky changes, such as cutting across several lanes of traffic to take an off-ramp, suddenly change lanes, or even to drive on the freeway shoulder.
- Lose the ability to perform driving skills that require precise timing or other subtle skills.
- Make a driver feel as though he or she is detached from the other drivers, vehicles, and conditions on the road.
What is Road Rage?
Road Rage is the aggressive overreaction of another driver at what he/she perceives as your lack of driving skills, or even a perception of your own aggression towards him/her. Unfortunately, Road Rage has become much more common these days and is responsible for many accidents.
Another consequence of overreaction behind the wheel is the possibility of bodily injury. When overreaction occurs, the impersonal act of transportation from point A to point B becomes a personal confrontation.
So beware, if something happens to make you think that you are could be the target of another driver’s rage, consider following these suggestions to protect yourself and/or your passengers.
ü Do not get out of your Car. If you are approached by the other driver roll up you window and lock your car.
ü Do not make eye contact with the person who has approached your car. Do not make any hand gestures that could be perceived as rude or aggressive.
ü If you unintentionally have done something that has upset another driver mouth the word “Sorry” and show remorse either by making a silly face or a smile. Try hard to demonstrate that you are admitting your mistake. The object is to diffuse the situation.
Statistics on the matter of Road Rage are pretty telling, experts tell us that surveys demonstrate that more than half of all drivers in America will either express Road Rage or be the recipient of another drive´rs Road Rage while driving in the United States.
A United State office Highway Safety Office report states that each year, tens of thousands of automobile accidents can be directly linked directly to aggressive driving manifested in the form of Road Rage by aggressive driving.
Tips That Might Help Avoid Road Rage:
As tensions in our world have mounted, as families face and more challenges in their daily lives and as the number of motorists behind the wheel increase, so have the opportunities to encounter Road Rage when driving an automobile.
Driving seems to have become increasingly personalized. It seems that there is an element of politeness to our fellow drivers that may have lost some of its former luster. For many drivers on the road today, the actions of other drivers is more personal, instead of taking another’s driving errors in stride, some drivers seem to take them as personal affronts.
Of course, this type of reaction is not uncommon as a secondary emotion to fear, especially if a driving error causes the enraged driver to make a sudden reactive maneuver to avoid collision. It has also been found that about 85% of the drivers who were surveyed said that the flash of anger and personalization the experience brought on could be defused and settled if the offending driver had simply acknowledged the error with a gesture of apology.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Get the Best of You!
If you are behind the wheel, keep your emotions in check. It makes a huge difference in driving safety. But there is more of course that you most keep in mind. Avoid things that can take your focus away from driving.
We at Regan Law are here to help you.