Being on the road can give rise to a number of situations that are frustrating and aggravating, so it’s no surprise that drivers can experience some anger while behind the wheel. It’s of the utmost importance to keep such anger in check before it develops into full-blown road rage. Road rage, as defined by the DMV, is “aggressive or violent behavior stemming from a driver’s uncontrolled anger at the actions of another motorist.” Here are some common examples of road rage:
- Hitting another driver’s vehicle with your car
- Instigating physical confrontation by pulling over, getting out, and approaching the other driver
- Running a vehicle off the road
- Attempting to get one of your passengers to fight the other driver
- Verbally threatening to harm another driver, and/or using a weapon to inflict harm
These situations threaten the safety of everyone on the road, including your own safety and that of your passengers. It is often the case that engaging in aggressive driving behaviors – like tailgating, cursing at other drivers, speeding, and flashing your headlights – can lead to road rage on your own part or on the part of other drivers.
Luckily, there are a few simple things to do to deal with road rage, and they mainly deal with either a) preventing road rage in the first place, or b) diffusing road rage if it occurs.
- Prevent: Create a calm atmosphere in the car, be forgiving and kind to other drivers on the road, keep space between yourself and other vehicle on the road, and do not try to engage/communicate with other drivers using eye contact, rude gestures, or verbally berating them through the window.
- Diffuse: If you upset another driver, show remorse and be apologetic and accommodating on the road. Do not do anything to escalate the situation. If another driver upsets you, do everything you can to get your anger in check. Take deep breaths, try to relax, and pull over if you need to. It is worth thinking about that acting on road rage can jeopardize everyone’s safety on the road and have unintended consequences.
Here at Atzenhoffer Mazda, we wish for you and your passengers to have safe travels.