Road rage makes the headlines or the top news story every so often; but always for a bad reason. From chasing to shooting; from injury to fatality, road rage can cause more than just a pulled tendon in your middle finger.
You Might Have Road Rage If…
If you don’t have a clue as to what road rage is, chances are you either don’t have it, or you are an expert in the ways of denial.
Road rage is what happens if you become violently angry, stressed, and frustrated when driving a motor vehicle in difficult conditions.
It can lead to very dangerous situations, especially if two road rage-ers become embattled in a lockdown.
If you aren’t sure if you have road rage, consider some of these signs.
You might have road rage if:
- You take it as a personal blow to your character if someone passes you or overtakes you, even in the passing lane.
- Angry faces and expressive gestures are commonly made at other drivers who annoy you, whether they are looking at you or not.
- Your automatic assumption is that every “bad’ driver is a woman, an elderly person, or a teenager and you wish someone would take away their license.
- Honking the horn is a favorite pastime and you wonder how long before it wears out.
- Screaming and yelling at other drivers is common inside your car, even with the windows rolled up…or down.
- Flashing your lights and tailgating to get other cars to move out of the way is part of your forte.
- You believe that revenge is a dish best served cold, especially on the highway.
- You just can’t get into your car without being angry at everyone else on the road. Every time you drive. Anywhere.
If this sounds like you, you have road rage. Now, we aren’t saying that you’re going to run down the next person who passes you and beat them with a baseball bat, but it has happened before.
People who have no idea how it gets so far end up in sticky situations that they just can’t get out of.
Meanwhile, here are some common factors that contribute to road rage:
- Traffic delays are the most common contributing factor to road rage. It’s not just traffic build-up on the highway. Even if you are simply waiting for the red signal to turn green, or if you have been going around in circles trying to find an empty parking space, it can be irksome to impatient drivers.
- There’s this feeling of anonymity that encourages some drivers to drive without concern for other drivers. Those who are late for work would rather annoy another driver on the road that is a stranger to them rather than annoy their bosses and get reprimanded.
- Some drivers grew up in an environment where they see this kind of behavior as the norm. It’s possible that their parents, too, are aggressive drivers. This may also lead them to think that rules don’t apply to them.
The Unfortunate Examples
In 2014, a man in Tennessee was followed home by a person with road rage who then purposely slammed his vehicle into the man’s truck.
In 2015, two men were involved in a cat-and-mouse road rage incident; until one man brandished a gun and threatened the other.
But the saddest incidents of road rage are those when the end result is fatal, as was the case of former New Orleans Saints player, Will Smith.
Earlier this year, Smith was killed by a man who fatally shot him and injured his wife after a road dispute.
Why Road Rage?
Road rage comes from different places, but the thing that spurs it on is overcrowding.
Too many people on the road can cause too many traffic jams and delays that make people feel super anxious and frustrated; crowding causes aggression and it comes rolling out when other drivers are anonymous and hidden inside their cars.
But every case is different. Road ragers might be facing difficult times in their lives and the crowding makes their difficulties feel worse.
They might be coming home after a horrible day at work, or they might be going home to a place that is full of chaos.
Some road ragers have deeper problems with anger and aggression, narcissism, and bullying.
And let’s not forget that alcohol consumption can cause rage in many different scenarios.
Gotta Get It Under Control
If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, now is the time to take the steps you need to get it under control.
Get good sleep at night since lack of sleep can cause a lack of control.
Limit your alcohol intake for obvious reasons.
Play music that soothes the senses and relaxes you as opposed to thrashing hard aggressive tunes.
And think about your actions as you drive; what is making you angry?
How long is the anger lasting?
Try telling yourself that the driver who angers you isn’t the one at fault; it must be someone in front of them.
Whatever it takes to put your mind in a better place.
Tickets All Around
Remember that raging on the road can cost you more than you can imagine.
If you don’t end up in a physical altercation leading to injury or death, you might just end up with a police record, or a ticket or two.
Though there is no specific road rage citation, you might get a ticket for following too closely (if you are tailgating) or reckless or careless driving.
If you end up with a ticket, you should consider taking the appropriate steps to ditch the road rage.
Plus, going to traffic school can get the points on your license and some fines reduced.
Though you may not feel like you have the time to go to traffic school, why not go to traffic school online?
A Good Traffic School Online
Many different online traffic schools have different formulas and formats, but if you are a person who suffers from road rage, you probably want to get right to the point and avoid all of the bells and whistles that can hold you up from getting the job done quickly and easily. Traffic 101 might just be the place for you.
They simply present you with the info, provide the testing platform to complete your required quizzes, and you’re done.
You can log in and out whenever you want and you get access to 24/7/365 technical and customer support.
And who knows, the more you refresh your memory about the rules of the road, the slacker you might be able to cut for other drivers.
If Traffic 101 may sound too boring for you (the course is purely text-based so you’ll do a lot of reading), you might want to consider other options for traffic school.
You can check Improv Traffic School, which is, by far, the funniest course curriculum ever created.
The course was created in partnership with the comedians from Improv Comedy Club. If you know them, you’ll know you’re into a great deal of laughter while you’re studying the lessons.
Sounds like a good deal? The school even offers 4 FREE tickets to Improv Comedy Club to those who complete the course.
So after going through the stressful process of getting a citation, you may have some time to unwind and get that rage out of your system completely.
Be The Change
No one wants to be known as the person who can’t control themselves while driving, so don’t be that person!
Changing the world and the flow of traffic on the roads starts with one person; why not let that person be you?