Most drivers assume that they are decent, courteous and would never engage in aggressive driving – especially road rage. However, most do not realize just how aggressive they can be behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines road rage as a criminal act of violence – while they classify aggressive driving as speeding or tailgating and even running red lights. Unfortunately, tracking the number of accidents or deaths directly related to road rage is difficult, but it is estimated that a good portion of the accidents each year in the United States are caused by some form of aggressive behavior.
Why Does Road Rage Occur?
There are a variety of reasons a person may become enraged on the road, including:
- Fighting over parking spaces;
- Being cut off by another driver;
- Being stuck behind a slow driver when in a hurry;
- Someone tailgating;
- Being annoyed at another driver’s excessive use of the horn.
While it is true that a person under the influence of drugs could engage in road rage, it is not a common cause.
Tips for Avoiding Road Rage
With the increase in road congestion, the likelihood of more road rage incidents is bound to increase. Also, because aggressive driving behaviors are possible in everyone, it is especially important that individuals know how to avoid such behavior. Some things you can do to prevent road rage include:
- Get enough rest at night. Sleepiness is a contributing factor toward road rage. When you are unrested, you can easily become agitated and frustrated – even at situations you normally would not be upset by. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night to combat this.
- Plan ahead for the drive. If you know you need to be somewhere at a certain time, leave so that you have enough time to get there early. Limiting how much time you have to commute and not accounting for possible delays could easily agitate a person.
- Remember that your car should not be used to blow off steam. Regardless of who you are really mad at, do not use your car as a way to let off that aggression. That includes speeding or even using your car as a way to let loose after a long day.
- Do not listen to overly aggressive music while driving. Aggressive music pumps your blood, increases blood pressure and can lead to a higher rate of aggression. Instead, listen to music that is relaxing, soothing or even an audio tape.
- Remember that it is not about you. When someone cuts you off or is driving too slow, do not assume they are purposely doing so to annoy you or even make you late. In reality, most drivers have no clue that they are upsetting the other driver nor do they do it intentionally.
Were You Injured in a Road Rage Accident? Contact an Attorney Right Away
Hostility on the road can be fatal. If you or a loved one was injured because of a road rage incident, contact the New York car accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. today. We offer free consultations so contact us online or call 1-888-575-6410 to get started.