Road rage is a criminal offense that can result in jail time. Road rage occurs when one driver commits an act of violence against another road user, such as a motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian. An act of violence can include using your vehicle as a weapon, dueling another vehicle in a reckless chase, or getting out of your vehicle and brandishing a weapon with the intent to injure another driver.
Rarely is road rage triggered by a single incident. Rather, it is usually the last straw in a long series of stressors. Read the information below to learn how to protect yourself from others with road rage or identify when road rage is an issue for you. If it is, below are suggestions for helping you to control your behavior.
ROAD RAGE IN OTHERS
Aggressive driving by others can include tailgating, speeding, making obscene gestures, cutting other drivers off in a retaliatory manner, or blocking lanes approaching construction zones. These behaviors by others can escalate into road rage if you deliberately or unintentionally provoke an aggressive driver.
If you encounter a driver exhibiting road rage, try to separate yourself from that driver immediately. Slow down and hope the driver moves on. If your vehicle is stopped, stay in your vehicle and keep the doors locked.
NOTIFY THE POLICE
Call 911 immediately or go to the nearest police station if you feel your life is in danger. Provide a vehicle description, license number, location, and travel direction of the perpetrator. Do not attempt to follow the driver and further aggravate the situation.
ROAD RAGE IN YOU
Financial problems, a recent argument with your partner, or work-related issues can manifest themselves in your driving style. These stressors can lead to aggressive driving and possibly road rage if you do not correct your behavior before aggression takes over. Here are some tips to help you keep control of yourself:
LEAVE YOUR TROUBLES BEHIND
Resolve issues before getting behind the wheel. Set your mind on safe driving before leaving.
Program your GPS before leaving to avoid high-congested areas and allow extra time for unexpected delays. Plan your trip accordingly by making a list of essential items to pack and check things off before leaving.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS
While driving, listen to relaxing music and make the cab comfortable. Make frequent stops to get out and stretch and refocus. Get plenty of rest. Eat healthy meals. Exercise daily. Try yoga or meditation.
BE AN EXAMPLE TO OTHER DRIVERS
Be courteous, and do not take the aggressive or rude behavior of others personally. Control your anger and practice the Essential 7 Driving Techniques: no speeding, tailgating, or lane-hopping; yield the right of way; and avoid distractions.
The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent.
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