Did you know that road rage is classified as assault with a deadly weapon? With the weapon being your car? That’s a pretty serious offense. Any car accident lawyer can tell you that driving aggressively without intent to harm is considered a traffic offense. It is also a criminal act. I commute to and from work everyday, so I know how difficult it can be when there are drivers on the road who seem to not have a care in the world. It can be very upsetting when people are not looking out for your, or their, wellbeing when driving. Below, I am going to go over some ways to avoid road rage while on the road. If you have been injured in an accident, contact an accident attorney in our office. Consultations are free!
Accident Attorney | Avoiding Road Rage
Avoiding road rage can be difficult, especially with commuting. One of the most important things to try to do is make sure that your driving environment is as relaxing as possible. Making sure that you have a peaceful environment while driving is important. Listening to music that makes you happy or that calms you down can help tremendously. Creating a positive driving environment will help to keep you calm and will aid you in ignoring the road rage tendencies of others.
Allow Plenty of Time
Allow yourself plenty of time when you are leaving to go somewhere. For instance, when you leave for work in the morning and you have a long commute. Running late can make you anxious and impatient, which means that you are more likely to get angry at the drivers around you. Giving yourself plenty of drive time will help you stay relaxed.
I know that traffic, especially in Southern California can be horrible. And sometimes, there are situations out of our control that make it more difficult to get to our destination on time. Slow downs on the freeway can cause a lot of stress.
If you start getting tense while driving, remember to relax. One of the first things to do is to relax your grip on the steering wheel. Wiggle your fingers and then try to hold the wheel with a more relaxed grip. Not only will you be able to retain control of the car, you will feel less tension throughout your body.
If your car has cruise control and conditions allow it, this feature will give your right leg a break and may help with any stress you are holding in your lower body. Remember, you should only use cruise control in situations where you can drive safely at the same speed for extended periods of time. You can use manual control in stop-and-go traffic situations. Cruise control may be better suited for long road trips, very rarely should it be used in commuting situations.
Remember, take a deep breath when you feel yourself getting tense and anxious. Take several slow, deep breaths in and out. This should help calm you down. Another suggestion, roll down your window every now and then to get some fresh air. This should help relax you as well.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Whether you are going on a road trip or you commute back and forth to work, it is always a good idea to get plenty of sleep at night. Most know that doctors usually recommend that adults get approximately 8 hours of sleep per night. If don’t get the recommended 8 hours, that accumulated sleep loss can greatly affect your mood. Being tired can lead to anger, resentment, and annoyance. All which can lead to road rage and road rage incidents.
We’ve talked about distractions being a major cause of car accidents. Which is why we also recommend that you avoid distractions at all costs. Don’t talk on the phone, text, eat, apply makeup, etc. This can cause you to be caught off guard by other driver’s actions. Which can fuel your road rage and be the cause of the action.
Dealing with Other People’s Road Rage
Another way of avoiding road rage is to also avoid other people’s road rage as well. Below are some helpful tips.
Avoid Eye Contact & Escalating the Situation
Although it can be difficult not to react to the actions of others, it is always best to ignore it. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and try not to make eye contact with an angry driver.
If an angry driver yells or tries to get into an altercation with you, it is best to avoid a confrontation at all costs. If it is safe to do so, continue on your route and ignore the actions of the angry driver. Fighting and driving angry is a dangerous situation for everyone involved.
- Roughly 50% of drivers in the United States have reported to responding to an enraged driver by yelling or making a rude gesture;
- As many as 37% of road rage incidents have involved a firearm. This alone is reason enough to avoid escalating the situation
Remember that other people’s reactions to you on the road is not something to take personal. If another driver cuts you off or honks at you, it is because they are experiencing their own road rage; not because they are angry at you. Taking offense to this will just cause you to retaliate.
In any situation on the road where you do not feel safe, take steps to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. If you feel threatened, take a mental note of the license plate and make and model of the car and drive to the nearest police station. Even if you do not go in, it is likely that the situation with de-escalate itself and you will be free to go.
Remember that it is always important to drive as safely as possible. We often forget that cars are machines that we operate. While our cars are speeding at 75mph, even though we are sitting still, our bodies are also going at the same speed.
If you have been injured in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your case. Consultations with an accident attorney in our office are free!