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Road Rage: Definition, Forms, Effects & How To Avoid

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Road rage is a serious issue on the roads today.

It can take many different forms, and it can have dangerous effects on both the driver and other people on the road.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to avoid road rage incidents and stay safe while driving.

This post will define road rage, explain its various forms, outline the effects it can have, and provide tips for avoiding it. Stay safe out there!

What is Road Rage?

Road rage is dangerous and aggressive driving behavior.

It is characterized by angry, violent, or impatient actions toward other drivers.

Road rage can lead to car accidents, injuries, and even death.

Common Forms of Road Rage

Road rage can manifest in many different ways, but there are some common themes.

Yelling, swearing, and making aggressive gestures are all signs that a driver is road raging.

Tailgating, cutting off other drivers, and purposely braking are also common behaviors exhibited by road ragers.

What Causes Road Rage?

vector graphic showing a person in a road rage incident while driving

There are many factors that can contribute to road rage, including:

  • Stress: Traffic, work, family, and financial problems can all lead to stress on the road.
  • Time pressure: Feeling like you’re running late can add to your stress level and make you more likely to lash out at other drivers.
  • Poor driving habits: Things like tailgating, cutting off other drivers, and making rude gestures can be road rage triggers for other drivers.
  • Substance abuse: Alcohol and drugs can impair your judgment and make you more likely to lose control behind the wheel.

Learning how to be a better driver can help you understand what to look for, before this situation happens to you.

How Does Road Rage Impact Drivers?

Road rage is a serious problem on America’s roadways.

In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage is responsible for nearly 66 percent of all traffic fatalities.

That’s an average of two road rage-related deaths every day.

Road rage doesn’t just impact those involved in the incident.

It can also cause delays and traffic jams for other drivers.

What if Somebody Else is Road Raging Against You?

If you find yourself in the middle of a road rage incident, here are some things to do:

Try to stay calm: It can be difficult, but road rage is a reaction to stress and anger. The more calm and collected you can be, the better chance you have of diffusing the situation.

Avoid making eye contact: This can escalate the situation and make the other driver even angrier.

Don’t respond with gestures: This includes honking your horn, giving the finger, or making any other hand gestures.

Move away from the aggressive driver: If possible, change lanes or turn off at the next exit.

Call 911 if necessary: If the other driver is following you or trying to force you off the road, call 911.

What to do to avoid getting road rage

Road rage can be a very dangerous and scary thing, but there are some things you can do to avoid getting road rage in the first place.

First, try to stay calm when you’re driving.

This can be difficult, especially during rush hour or in bad traffic, but it’s important to keep your cool.

Avoid making eye contact with other drivers, and if someone does something to anger you, don’t respond with a gesture.

Instead, try to let it go and move on.

If you can’t do that, pull over and take a few deep breaths before getting back on the road.

Second, give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. If you’re running late, you’re more likely to get angry and road rage.

Leaving early will help you avoid this.

Third, make sure you’re well-rested before getting behind the wheel. If you’re tired, you’re more likely to get road rage.

Fourth, avoid driving if you’re angry or upset about something.

If you need to calm down before driving, pull over and take a few minutes to relax.

Lastly, if you do find yourself road raging, pull over and take a few deep breaths.

Try to calm down before getting back on the road.

Wrapping Up

Road rage is a serious problem and it’s important to be aware of it.

By following these tips, you can help avoid road rage and keep yourself and others safe on the road.

1 thought on “Road Rage: Definition, Forms, Effects & How To Avoid”

  1. I just got rode raged on for something I can not understand would have upset the other driver.
    I made a decision to change lanes and as anyone would normally do, I checked to be sure I was clear (I also have blind spot indicators) and even though there was a pickup truck in that lane, he was back a few car lengths. I turned on my turn signal (most don’t) and moved over into the lane and kept up my speed and actually picked it up a bit so not to hold up the pickup. The driver in the pickup sped up behind me and started flashing his lights repeatedly.
    Next, he passed me with little room to clear my right rear quarter panel and sped up to get in front of me and then got on his brakes to “teach me a lesson”. I slowed and realized this got was in full Rage mode, so I was only trying to get away from him. At the next light he turned into the left turn lane an slowed for the red turn light. The light was green in the straight lane so, I was just going to go straight thru. The maniac in the P/U was not done, so he then decided to turn right to block my path straight ahead (absolutely insane), but fortunately he turned back into his lane and I got thru. This is not the first episode I have had with Road Rage, but probably the most amazing!!! I know what I did would not normally draw this kind of reaction from any other driver because I had lots of room to change lanes, there is no way someone would take this as me “cutting them off”, but I guess I lit this guy’s fire and he wanted revenge for me daring to get in his way, or at least he think I did (what a Psycho!!).
    I wanted to pass this along to let everyone know that sometimes road rage can be sparked from practically nothing as with what happened to me this morning. I will say that I am a very capable driver (I was formally a race car driver in the SCCA) and won my share of championships. I was also a driving instructor with the SCCA and BMWCCA, so I think I have above average (even advanced) driving skills, so do you think I was in the wrong? I really don’t think so. The point is that no matter what you may do, right or wrong, some drivers have serious anger control issues and they should not even be driving a vehicle if they are not capable of keeping themselves calm and in control in all driving situations. I can only hope this never happens to you, but if it does, be the better driver and stay calm and in control.
    Good luck and drive safely.

    Reply

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