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Road rage

What are some likely causes?

  • Increasing congestion on the roads.
  • Other drivers failure to obey the rules of the road.
  • Distracted drivers - use of cell phones, reading newspapers, etc.
  • Stressed out drivers - not leaving enough time to get to their destination.
  • Personal problems - don't take your bad day at work or home out on other drivers.
  • Your EGO - check it at the car door!

Avoiding road rage

Don't get drawn into a confrontation. Here are a few suggestions to keep yourself from getting emotionally - or physically involved.

  • Avoid eye contact. This is sometimes perceived as being confrontational.
  • Get out of the way. Even if the other guy is speeding, it is safest not to make a point by staying in your lane.
  • If you are being "hassled" by another driver or you think you are being followed, do not react. Drive to the nearest police station, gas station, etc. to get help.
  • If someone tries to get into your car, attract attention by honking your horn and driving away.
  • Instead of reacting to other driver's mistakes, give them the benefit of the doubt. Assume that others drivers' mistakes are NOT intentional and are NOT personal.

What you can do

The following tips are recommended for driving courtesy.

  • Concentrate on driving, not on other passengers, cellular phones or other distractions.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
  • Drive in the right or middle lane; pass on the left.
  • Stop at stop signs and red lights; don't run yellow lights.
  • Don't block intersections.
  • Signal your turns. Make sure you don't cut off someone.
  • Watch your gestures. Use of obscene gestures invites trouble.

Are you guilty?

Have you ever:

  • Tailgated another driver?
  • "Gestured" toward another driver in anger?
  • Leaned on your horn (even when you knew it wouldn't help)?
  • Changed lanes quickly to get around slower drivers?
  • Yelled at other drivers?

If you answered yes to any of these, YOU could be labeled as an aggressive driver. So, be careful!

Most frequent forms of road rage*

62% Aggressive tailgating
59% Headlight flashing
48% Obscene gestures
21% Deliberately obstructing other vehicles
16% Verbal abuse
1% Physical assault by other drivers

*AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety