A Quick Guide to Avoiding Road Rage

road rageRoad rage is not a valid excuse for someone to drive hazardously and put other drivers at risk, although it can sometimes feel like it. The Huntsville, Alabama attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. will be able to assist you if you’ve been involved in a car accident caused by another driver’s road rage.

Road rage has become a major problem for drivers all over the country. It can strike at any time and the consequent accidents can cause life-threatening injuries. Here are some aspects of road rage that you should know, and how to help minimize the damage:

Causes of Road Rage

Driving a car can be extremely stressful. There are many factors involved every time you get behind the wheel and only a select few you can actually control. You may be running late, you might have had a horrible day and now you’re in a bad mood, or you may be just fine but then someone cuts you off and— in a matter of seconds—the rage encompasses you.

To add to the daily stresses, the roadways are dangerous, even if everyone was driving as safely as possible. This might be more of an issue for our subconscious, but the fact that your life is in danger at any moment while on the road certainly piles on to the overall stress while driving.

Take all these elements, throw in a busy intersection at 5:15 p.m. on a Monday evening, and have an oblivious driver illegally pull out in front of you. Even the most well-adjusted person might have some irrational thoughts.

Types of Road Rage

Road rage can vary from shouting out of the window to another driver to physically harming another person or persons. Some of the most common types of road rage include: disrespectful hand gestures, changing lanes in an unsafe manner, aggressively tailgating, intentionally driving slow to disrupt other drivers, refusing to let other drivers pass or yielding the right-of-way, and completely disregarding rules of the road and traffic signals.

Broken down into three major categories, road rage consists of verbal, quiet, and epic types.

Verbal: Including screaming, insulting, honking your horn, and rude gesturing.
Quiet: Including complaining, resisting, competing, and rushing.
Epic: Including cutting drivers off, blocking, chasing, fighting, and the use of weapons.

How to Avoid Road Rage Disasters and Control Your Own Rage

Being a victim of road rage is almost completely unpreventable. Unless you stay home all of the time, you are going to be susceptible to a road rage-induced accident. However, there are ways to avoid directly being involved in a road rage conflict:

  • Be as alert as you can while you’re out on the roadways. This involves getting enough rest, staying hydrated, and being cognizant of your surroundings.
  • Allow yourself to have ample time to get to your destination. If you’re in a hurry, there is a much higher chance you’ll be affected by rage or bring out the rage in another driver. If you have the time to be patient with other bad drivers, you can prevent a dangerous situation from occurring.
  • Even if you’re upset, don’t let other drivers know. You have no way of knowing whether or not someone who cut you off did it intentionally or not. By remaining calm and concealing your anger, you could be avoiding provoking another driver into a dangerous road rage mindset.
  • Try not to complain or vent about other drivers mishaps. Complaining can increase your sense of frustration and sense of danger, making you more susceptible to road rage. Other drivers may end up seeing you react as well, which could lead to the situation escalating.
  • Along with being aware of your physical surroundings, it is extremely important to be aware of your own emotional state. Even if you are so angry you want to “rage,” it takes a clear mind to know that whatever irrational move you’re about to make isn’t worth it and won’t change a thing. Just relax and the moment will pass.
  • Keeping calm while you’re in a dangerous situation is one of the most important aspects of preventing road rage accidents. You have to possess the willpower to chose not to act out emotionally. Many psychologists believe that this involves changing our perspective about other drivers as well as our own driving behavior.

Avoiding road rage is a difficult task because there are drivers all over who act irrational if they don’t get their way. Being as careful as you can be, letting things that anger you go, and keeping your cool while driving can help prevent disasters out on the roads.

If you are involved in any road rage-related accident in Huntsville, Alabama, contact Martinson & Beason, P.C. to speak with an experienced attorney today.