The risks of road rage, and how to avoid it

No matter who you are, you will either be a victim of or be the cause of road rage at some point in your life. This is perfectly natural, and it happens to even the best and most careful or tranquil drivers. But, just because it is natural doesn’t mean road rage doesn’t come with dangers and risks. When driving down the road, along the highway, or through winding country roads, you must always do everything you can to remain safe. So here are some of the risks of road rage, but also how you can avoid them. 

THE RISKS

Speeding 

Speeding is just one of the many traffic ticket violations that you can encounter, and this is especially true with road rage. You may feel compelled to follow someone who cut you off, and this may mean breaking the speed limit. Alternatively, you may try to avoid someone who is harassing you, and you will drive faster to get away. 

You don’t need reminding why this is dangerous, so no matter where you are, stick to the speed limit, as you don’t want to find yourself in a position that puts you and other cars in danger. 

Ignoring Traffic Signs 

If you encounter road rage because of traffic or slow drivers ahead of you, there’s a risk that you will ignore traffic signs, especially if you are in a hurry. You may ignore signs to slow down, stop, or yield, but this could cause an accident if you are not careful. 

Besides this, there may be signs that warn of sharp bends in the road, and if you ignored these, you could take them at too great of a speed, which could flip your car and cause severe injuries (not to say vehicular damage). 

Aggressive Driving

One of the hallmarks of road rage, understandably, is aggressive driving. This involves things like speeding, but it also involves cutting off other drivers on the road and being too confident with maneuvers. 

Because you are not thinking clearly, you will not slow down or let other cars exit side streets, and this can cause traffic to back up, or cause other cars to make a desperate move to get out. This can cause a domino effect that can impact traffic and safety.

A Lack of Focus 

You know that you do not think straight when you are angry, and this is perhaps most evident when you are behind the wheel. Getting angry or upset at home is one thing, you can hide away in your room and give yourself time to cool down. However, things are entirely different while you are on the road. 

As you’re in control of a large, heavy vehicle, your lack of focus immediately becomes more of a risk to yourself and others. You may misjudge turns or distances, and you could cause severe collisions with other cars. Besides this, if you are on the receiving end of road rage, you may also be a risk to others as you are driving too nervously. 

A Driving Record

For many, road rage comes and goes quickly without incident, but you may come across traffic police or go through a speed camera that clocks you going far too quickly. This can result in a bad driving record, which could make it difficult to get affordable insurance or even be considered for a job, especially if it involves a lot of traveling. 

AVOIDING ROAD RAGE

Take a Break 

If you feel like you are experiencing road rage and you have the opportunity to take a break, then so do. It’s always best to remove yourself from the situation, as this will give you the chance to calm down, refocus, and get back on the road with a clear head. 

Unfortunately, it is not always that easy, so you will need to consider other ways to avoid road rage. Your first action should be to slow down without becoming a nuisance to other drivers. You may also want to put on some music to distract you and help you calm down. 

Plan Ahead

If you know that your journey could involve a lot of traffic and delays, you can look for ways that help you avoid traffic jams altogether. Doing so will minimize any surprises and help you stay calm should you encounter an unexpected stop. 

You can also try to leave earlier if you are concerned about getting delayed and then rushing to your destination. Any steps you take to make your journey as calm and safe as possible should always be considered. 

Understand 

Everyone can make mistakes when driving even if they have been driving for years. People can become complacent around areas they are familiar with, and this can cause them to switch off because they don’t expect anything to happen. This could mean they carry out potentially dangerous maneuvers, and this could cause road rage. 

However, if you understand that mistakes happen (and you are surely guilty of some yourself), you can avoid experiencing anger when something goes wrong. The more willing to understand that you are, the less rage you will feel, and this can keep you calm in any road situation. 

Avoid Confrontation 

You might not be someone who experiences road rage at all, but this doesn’t mean others won’t. You never know what is enough to set someone off, and even the most minor of delays or small errors can cause the driver behind you to blare their horn. 

This is often an intimidation tactic, and they are trying to get you to respond. You must do everything you can to avoid confrontation with these types of drivers. Let them pass if they are driving too close to you, or try to get off the road entirely. Hopefully, they will not try to take it any further, but if they do, make sure to get to a safe and public place.

CALM AND CAREFUL

Road rage can happen in an instant, but even this is enough to cause severe problems for you and other drivers on the road. Because of this, you must understand the nature of road rage and remember how you can avoid it if you find yourself in a situation. 


Photo Credit: Lamborghini

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