Recognizing Road Rage and Avoiding Future Conflict
Traffic fatalities and injuries saw a significant increase in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With the unfortunate rise in use of cellphones, drivers now are more distracted than ever. In fact, Automotive Fleet reports that 40 percent of all motor vehicle collisions involve the use of a cell phone. With safety and concern for others at a seemingly all time low, road rage is another growing concern. Whether you feel growing anger for another’s poor driving, or another party begins to target you, it is important to know how to back away from the situation, as escalation could lead to a deadly collision or physical violence.
Instead of acting on an impulse, take a moment to reflect on the situation. Whether someone has cut you off, honked, or intentionally swerved at you, nothing good will come from retaliation. Remain calm, take a few deep breaths, and back away from the aggressive driver by slowing down and moving away. Release your anger at another time when the lives of other road users will not be jeopardized. Venting to friends or family members can relieve some of the built up frustration, or a physical outlet from working out can help alleviate pent up rage.
Consider Who the Problem May be
Are you constantly getting into conflicts on the road? Have you considered the possibility that you yourself may be at the cause of many of these incidences? Recognizing your own unsafe driving and road rage, and acting upon it, can stop a serious incident from occurring down the road. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers with road rage may:
- Use the horn;
- Become overly frustrated with slow-moving vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists;
- Flash headlights;
- Constantly change lanes;
- Change lanes too quickly and without the use of turn signals;
- Flip off or use other hand signals to other drivers; and
- Talk or text on their cell phone.
If you notice that you exhibit any of these unsafe driving habits, consider changing your ways before you cause a serious collision or get into a conflict with another. Consider counseling, driver’s education, or other classes designed to control rage or improve safe driving skills.
There may be a medical basis for drivers with road rage. The National Institute of Health funded a study that examined road rage in drivers. Of the 10,000 drivers examined, five to seven percent exhibited road rage. From this study, it was theorized that some of these drivers may have a medical disorder that the study termed Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). These people may be prone to easily losing their tempers and overreacting to minor situations that others can cope with without resorting to rage or violence. This, however, is not a valid excuse for causing a wreck or inflicting violence upon another, and people diagnosed with IED should seek counseling as well as examining their own driving behavior.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto collision or been involved in a road rage incident, you may be entitled to damages. Give one of our Jacksonville car accident and road rage attorneys a call to discuss the legal options that lay ahead. Call us now at Gillette Law, P.A. at 888-366-5904. We serve clients in Brunswick, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida.