Don’t Ruin the Holidays with Road Rage

16 11 2017

Dale BertramMany feel that road rage is triggered by drivers who are feeling rushed or spend too much time in heavy traffic. We know around the holidays traffic intensifies so be aware of your stress triggers and keep them under control when you are driving.

Most drivers who experience road rage show it by tailgating, changing lanes quickly without signaling, running red lights, honking the horn and using obscene gestures.  In a recent survey fifty-six percent of men said they experience feelings of road rage on a daily basis and forty-four percent of women do.

Studies show that 1500 people are injured or killed in road-rage incidents each year. It is believed that those who suffer from violent road-rage tendencies have Intermittent Explosive Disorder and this affects up to 16 million Americans during their lifetime. Psychiatrists believe this disorder starts in childhood or early adolescence. When they get violent on the road they have excuses like, “he cut me off,” or “I was signaling for that parking spot first!”

The majority of aggressive drivers are poorly educated young men between the ages of 16 and 26. Usually they have had run ins with the law and have substance abuse issues…but not always. Some professional, successful people who have had a bad day at the office and who seem to have no emotional problems have also flown into a rage.  Class, race, religion, age, gender don’t seem to matter in some instances.  They just had a rough day and getting cut off in traffic resulted in the final straw.

Generally speaking though, those categorized as “type A” or competitive personalities are more prone to road rage. They are more controlling people and get frustrated more easily when things don’t go their way.  If they felt things went against them all day this aggressive behavior can show up behind the wheel.

The best advice when you feel someone near you on the road is experiencing road rage is to get out of their way and don’t make eye contact.  If you are pursued by an angry driver do not drive home…drive to the police station.

If you are a person who gets easily frustrated with other drivers be aware of your emotions and stay calm.  Don’t let a bad day for you get worse by harming others and possibly ending up in jail.  That only makes your bad day go on for a very long time. If you need to seek professional help, do so sooner rather than later.

It may be years before this device is available but meanwhile, be very aware when you are driving and take steps to keep calm and share the road graciously with others.

 

 

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