The Dangers of Road Rage
August 17, 2022
Are you one of the millions of people who have experienced road rage while driving? Or, have you been the victim of someone else’s road rage? The chances are high that you’ve had to deal with both. Nearly one third of Canadians experience road rage at least once a month, according to a 2015 survey by a nationwide insurer.
Road rage and aggressive driving are both very dangerous and very different. Aggressive driving can be defined as anything that constitutes recklessness, such as tailgating, speeding, or blocking another car from passing. But road rage is more serious because it involves a violent intent towards another driver.
The don’ts of road rage
Maybe you’re having a bad day and suddenly, a car cuts you off, causing you to barely avoid an accident. Or perhaps you’re running behind schedule and it seems like you get stopped at every red light – while also getting stuck behind the slowest car on the road.
Most drivers have been there and start complaining to themselves or even screaming at the car in front of them to just “GO!” However, staying calm in moments like these helps your mental health and will keep you and other drivers safe. It will also protect you from drivers who may react violently against your tailgating or gesturing.
Don’t let your anger lead to someone else’s rage
When anger sets in, remember it isn’t helpful to direct that anger towards other drivers. Anger can quickly turn to rage, causing the danger level to increase. One of the biggest concerns of road rage is you can’t know how the driver in front of you or behind you will react to your in-car aggression. Many drivers have found themselves suffering violence at the hands of other drivers who have no control over their road rage. It may seem unlikely that cutting someone off or waving your hands could lead to violence, but you never know who you’re driving next to or what they’re capable of. As a matter of fact, of the deaths related to road rage, most have been considered deliberate murders.
Don’t engage in the wrong kind of tailgating
Tailgating can be a fun way to celebrate responsibly with friends before a ball game or concert. But when it comes to driving, tailgating is a whole different story. Tailgating happens when one car is driving very close to the back of another. Many drivers use this tactic of road rage when they want the car in front of them to speed up or move to a different lane so they can pass. Often, the result of tailgating is an accident – and at high speeds, this can be deadly. This happens when the vehicle in front brakes quickly and the driver behind doesn’t have enough time to stop.
Remind yourself that although being stuck behind a slow driver might be annoying and inconvenient, it’s not as bad as harming yourself or others in a crash.
Keep calm and drive on
When you drive and add aggression and impatience to the mix, the result can be deadly. Avoid reacting negatively to others’ bad or slow driving. And if you’re the target of another driver’s road rage, let them pass you. Doing so helps you avoid what could become a dangerous confrontation.
Staying calm on the road is key to staying alive and reaching your destination safely.