What Is Road Rage And How To Avoid It

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You may have noticed that there are more cars on Colorado roads now than a few years ago. As Colorado’s population continues to grow – so has our traffic. The increased congestion has contributed to a surge in aggressive driving, which may lead to a condition known as “road rage”.

Webster’s dictionary defines road rage as a “motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior”. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration distinguishes “aggressive driving” as a traffic offense, and “road rage” as a criminal offense; so while the aggressive driver’s reckless actions may lead to an accidental injury or fatality, a driver commits road rage when they actively follow or seek out another driver to deliberately threaten or intentionally harm.

Road rage includes tailgating, running another vehicle off the road, intentionally causing a collision, brandishing a firearm, or getting out of your vehicle to escalate a confrontation. Obviously, all of this behavior is quite dangerous. Your auto insurance liability policy will not cover you for the damage you cause during an intentional act – meaning you will be personally responsible for any damage caused by your road rage.

How To Combat Road Rage

Psychologists suggest that frustrated drivers practice breathing exercises and singing along to music to help deal with the stress caused by driving. Children in the back seat often learn aggressive driving habits from their parents long before they are old enough to drive, according to Dr. Leon James, professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii. So, be mindful of the example you’re setting if you have young passengers in the car.

The following are some helpful tips on what you should do to help prevent yourself from experiencing road rage. 

Get Enough Sleep

Remember, road rage incidents can be extremely dangerous and can escalate quickly. It’s important to prioritize your safety and the safety of others on the road. One effective way to prevent road rage is by getting enough sleep. When we are sleep deprived, our patience and tolerance levels decrease, making us more susceptible to anger and frustration. So, make sure to prioritize a good night’s sleep to start your day off on the right foot.

Eat Well

Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet can contribute to a calmer mindset while driving. Studies have shown that certain nutrients, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, can help reduce aggression and promote a more relaxed state of mind. Try incorporating more nutritious foods into your diet to keep your emotions in check while on the road.

Leave Early

Another crucial factor in preventing road rage is leaving earlier for your destination. Rushing and being in a constant hurry can easily trigger frustration and anger. By giving yourself ample time to reach your destination, you can avoid the stress of being late and the temptation to engage in aggressive driving behaviors.

Final Thoughts on Road Rage

If you do find yourself in a road rage incident, it’s crucial to remain calm and composed. Avoid retaliating or engaging with the aggressive driver, as this will only escalate the situation further. Instead, give the other driver plenty of space and try to distance yourself from the conflict. If the situation becomes threatening or dangerous, look for a well-populated area to pull over and call 911 immediately. Stay inside your vehicle until the authorities arrive to ensure your safety.

Remember, road rage is a serious issue that can have severe consequences. By taking care of ourselves, being mindful of our actions, and staying calm in challenging situations, we can contribute to a safer and more peaceful driving experience for everyone on the road.

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