Controlling Road Rage
You’re driving along on the highway with your family in tow and suddenly a truck cuts you off while you’re going 70 mph. You had to stomp on the brake and swerve wildly to avoid a nasty collision. At first, you’re relieved as you are your family are safe. But what about that guy in the truck who was talking on his cell phone? You can’t help but be enraged his irresponsible behavior put you and your family at risk.
How you handle the situation from that point forward is vital. You have a couple of choices: hunt down this reckless driver and perhaps cut him off in retaliation and endanger everyone’s lives or you can thank your lucky stars and continue to drive safely to your destination.
Unfortunately, not everyone on the road chooses the latter and attempts dangerous retaliation. This type of irrational vengeance is known as road rage. This behavior includes:
- Chasing drivers
- Suddenly braking hard
- Making obscene hand and verbal gestures
- Cutting off other driver
- Getting out of the vehicle to make threats
- Honking without reason
It is estimated more than 13,000 cases of road rage are reported each year, which don’t take into account those incidents never reported. According to a study, half of motorists will respond to aggressive driving with similar behavior. Statistically, men are said to be more likely to engage in this aggressive behavior than women and a person using a cell phone is more likely to respond to a situation with rage. People under 24 years old are also twice as likely to engage in road rage as other age groups.
How should I react?
First and foremost, you should try to back off before a bad situation escalates into a potentially violent one. Take a deep breath and remain calm. While you may not have been in the wrong, you don’t want to risk further damage to yourself or other people on the road because you reacted to their rage. You may not be able to control the other driver’s actions, but you can control your own.
What to do if the aggressive driver doesn’t relent?
If the aggressive driver will not leave you alone or you feel your life is being threatened, call the police for help. Do not get out of your car as this action can also be construed as aggressive behavior.
If you need any car repair done, or you’d like to consult about vehicle damage, contact the Collision Center of Andover at (316) 733-9310, and we will get you back on the road.