Road Rage!

Road rage can be described in different ways. As an individual you may have your own description of road rage.

Road rage is, a person who exhibits mean, angry and aggressive behavior while in a road vehicle. They show rage through hand gestures, screaming and yelling and even threats towards another driver or pedestrian. It can lead to physical harm, collisions and even death.

Angry-Aggressive Drivers is Road Rage!

Road rage

Angry, aggressive drivers are mad at something that another driver may have done to them, either intentionally or unintentionally. Road rage may follow?

These include but are not limited to;

  • Cutting another vehicle off
  • Moving to slow
  • Not using turn signals
  • Won’t let them pass
  • Following to close
  • Talking, texting on the phone
  • Driving in the left lane
  • Blocking an intersection

The aggressive driver may have had a bad day at work. They may be late for work or a meeting. The aggressive driver may have an underlying problem with anger. Acting out with road rage may be their only way of dealing with it. No matter what their reason, they should seek professional help.

Road rage

Seek Professional Help!

I personally know what it’s like to have anger issues. The difference with me is I got help. This was over thirty years ago. I am still a professional truck driver. I try to stay calm and relaxed when in difficult driving situations like traffic congestion.

Try some of these to stay calm in tough situations while driving;

  • Listen to music
  • Recognize your anger
  • Forget about the incident, resist the temptation to retaliate
  • Fall back in traffic and watch other people’s behavior (notice how ridiculous it looks)
  • Do not make eye contact
  • Get plenty of rest

You are in Control!

The biggest advantage I have is I am in control of my vehicle. I personally stay back from other vehicles on purpose. This gives everyone plenty of room to maneuver around me and not cause me grief. It also helps to smile and motion others to come over if they want. This really seems to calm me. I feel as though I have done something good for the day.

Always keep your thoughts positive. Never act out with road rage because another driver did. You are only lowering yourself to their level. Remember, back off and watch traffic moving around you. It will not take long to see someone getting agitated. If they don’t get violent towards other drivers it can be amusing at times.

There are so many reasons not to lose control. Every driver around you has a goal to achieve. Everyone has loved ones somewhere. Maybe they got off work and are in a hurry to get home or get to the daycare for their children.

When I was sixteen!

This reminds me of something. When I was sixteen, Oh my gosh, decades ago! I was late for a haircut appointment. I was speeding in my dad’s 1964 Pontiac Bonneville on I-81. A State Trooper pulled me over. I told him I was late for my appointment and he said, “Now you will be later because I have to write you a ticket.” When he came back to the car about 15 minutes later, he said “It’s better to be late than to be dead.” I never forgot this.

Weaving in and out of traffic!

Many people think that weaving in and out of traffic will get them to their destination sooner. I am sorry to disappoint you, but it may save you a few seconds but not much more.

I have been in hundreds if not thousands of traffic jams all over the country. You can watch other drivers as they try to snake their way through the traffic. If you pick one vehicle and watch them as they move around, you will notice they do not get far from you. By the time you move another half mile or so and come to another stop you will see that same vehicle very near to you.

In 1998-99 I traveled the Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia twice a day. This highway is nicknamed the “Sure-kill Expressway” because of deadly accidents there. It is mostly two lanes going each way with Jersey barriers in between. It is very narrow and a little windy. You can be traveling at 55-60 mph and suddenly traffic is stopped. A few minutes later you are moving like nothing happened. Then it happens again and again.

A Valuable Lesson!

This is where I learned a few valuable lessons on driving. The best lesson for me was not to follow to close. I realized that keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead was the best option.

I used to pick certain cars out, like a bright red mustang. I would watch this vehicle until I forgot about it. The next time we would come to a stop I would not have to look far to see the red mustang again. It would be 2-4 cars ahead after 5-10 minutes of driving normal. It made no progress.

I did this over and over and unless the vehicle got off an exit it was always close to me. My theory is “it doesn’t pay to get in a hurry” and it only frustrates the person doing it.

Mental awareness!

Starting your trip, whether short or long requires mental awareness. Make sure you get plenty of rest before you drive, especially long trips.

Be prepared for anything and the unexpected;

  • Traffic jams
  • Accidents
  • Have alternative routes planned in case of road closures or construction
  • Put your phone out of reach
  • Finish your texting, emails and phone calls before you drive
  • If you have children, strap them in accordingly and remember they are counting on you to take care of them and get them safely to and from home

Remember, with you in control of your thoughts and vehicle you will prevail. Keep your eyes on the road. Safety is your number one priority. Do not make eye contact with other drivers.

Trust me on this! I drive a big truck and everyone seems to blame the truck driver. I get called number one many times. I deal with it this way. I wave and smile at them and keep on trucking. It’s that simple. I have actually had people laugh because I smile and wave at them as they give me the finger.

The above scenario does two important things.

  • It makes me feel good Not to lower my standards to theirs.
  • It can and sometimes does cool off the other driver and they may think twice before doing it again.