Most responsible adults recognize the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but unfortunately many people don’t think twice before driving while under the influence of extreme anger or rage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines road rage as a criminal act of violence. This occurs when a driver uses a vehicle, or other weapon, to endanger or cause harm to the driver or passengers in another vehicle. Thankfully, most incidents don’t rise to this level of violence. However, aggressive driving accounts for one-third of vehicle accidents, and two-thirds of subsequent fatalities. By practicing some simple tips, you may be able to avoid becoming a statistic.
Get proper rest. We all know how a lack of sleep can turn into irritability and aggression. Take frequent breaks during long trips to avoid highway hypnosis and anxiety. Allow sufficient time for your commute, and anticipate delays and traffic jams. Bring bottled water, a snack, and something to read in case you are stuck in traffic. Keeping yourself occupied will reduce anxiety and lessen your focus on other commuter’s misbehavior.
Turn down the bass. Keep your radio tuned to relaxing music, or humorous talk shows. For some individuals, it may be best to avoid political news shows. Enjoy your favorite author’s latest bestseller by listening to an audiobook. Don’t make your music distracting, but make it an environment you’d like to be in.
If you become a victim of an aggressive driver, it is very important to remain calm. Do not engage the aggressor by making eye contact, or responding to gestures or verbal provocation. Remain a safe distance and do not indulge in the impulse to teach the offending driver a lesson. A car accident attorney from the Knochel Law Offices PC in Lake Havasu, AZ says if you are being followed, do not leave your car. Drive to the nearest police station and report the incident.
If you are unable to control the stress of your daily commute, you may do yourself and other commuters a favor by considering public transportation. Most communities offer bus or train service at a reasonable cost. Let someone else suffer the frustration and treat yourself to some personal time. It will also save wear and tear on your vehicle.
For some reason, many people justify aggressive driving while they wouldn’t tolerate the same behavior in any other aspect of their lives. Always drive as if there are in children in the car. It may squelch the desire to engage in dangerous and inappropriate behavior.