We have all experienced this in one way or another in our daily commute to and from work. You might have felt perfectly okay when you left the house a few minutes earlier, but as soon as another aggressive driver cuts you in traffic, you transform into a different person. Psychiatrists refer to it as the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” state of mind.
In most cases, road rage is very dangerous to yourself and to the other motorists around you. There have been reported and celebrated cases of prominent individuals, businessmen being engulfed by anger and resulting in severe consequences. While some cases end up in legal battles, others end up with physical harm and worse death.
What is road rage? This phenomenon can be defined as aggressive and violent behavior stemming from a driver’s uncontrolled anger at the actions of another motorists. Oftentimes, aggressive driving escalates road rage. Aggressive driving is an accumulation of illegal driving maneuvers, often resulting from emotional distress. If you find yourself getting angry and upset on the road, try to notice if you’re engaging in any of the following aggressive driving behaviors:
Cutting others off.
Not using turn signals.
Mentally or verbally cursing other drivers.
Flashing your headlights.
Experts say it is important to determine your emotions and reactions, as they can influence your behavior on the road. Normal triggers for road rage are getting fired or having an argument at work; marital problems; running late for an appointment and even after scolding your kids in the car before before dropping them off at school. It seems like everyone is susceptible to road rage, but studies have shown that younger male drivers and people with certain psychological disorders are most prone to engage in aggressive driving and road rage. If you fall into these categories, you should be extra conscious of your emotions and actions on the road.
Preventing road rage
If you are caught in a possible road rage situation, it is best to diffuse it before escalation by first showing remorse by waving to the other driver; mouthing that you’re sorry and allowing them to pass you. Better yet, before driving off your garage, here are a few steps to take so you won’t be tempted into road rage. As you drive off to work: put on some soothing music; keep a mentality that you must share the road and nobody is perfect; keep a considerable amount of space between you and other drivers and refrain from making prolonged eye contact and obscene gestures at other drivers. Keep this in mind, don’t be a statistic.
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