It is estimated that as many as half the drivers in America display road rage; that is how common it is. If you have ever shaken your fist at another road user in anger, or been part of tailgating and gesturing to others on the road or weaving in and out of traffic you have been guilty of road rage.
If you have ever seen another motorist get down from his car and either verbally or physically assaults another, you have witnessed road rage. Road rage is bad for a number of reasons:
- It is dangerous. When in a fit of rage, people do unreasonable things, get into dangerous situations and may likely be part of an accident or actually cause it.
- Road rage increases stress levels in the body and has all of the negative connotations of that stress. Stress is known to cause a number of health problems. Plus you arrive home in a bad mood which does nothing for a peaceable atmosphere at home.
- It is contagious. When one person on the road behaves aggressively he angers and irritates others who will want to retaliate and act out; and then a sort of tit for tat domino effect takes place.
- It can be deadly. The car can be used as a weapon as surely as a gun being pointed at a person and make no mistake.
So how can one avoid road rage?
- Try and take a step back from the situation and try to calm yourself down. Do all the things that you do to avert anger and not react aggressively. Focus on breathing rather than pay attention to what that other driver did.
- Pay attention to the central fact that safety is more important than anything else; certainly more important than teaching that other guy a lesson.
- Remember it is not personal. If the other driver is acting out or behaving badly, his behavior is not aimed at you personally; it is against the world in general. So really there is no need for you to personally take up cudgels against him.
- Sometimes it is just a mistake; make way for that possibility and move on.
- Don’t let that other motorist to have so much power over you that he spoils your mood, your day and perhaps your health.
- If you are feeling really angry, take some time out, pull over and then pull yourself together!