Anyone who has ever driven a car will likely admit to becoming annoyed with other drivers around them and become angry. For most people, this annoyance or anger will be fleeting and forgotten five minutes later. Some people, however, can be seemingly “set off” by an annoyance and experience road rage. Road rage is defined as “a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior. Road rage can lead to serious, or even deadly, consequences. It is important to know the signs of possible road rage and what you can do as a driver to protect yourself.
Causes of Road RageEvery person is different. As such, road rage will not be triggered in the same way for every person. Even so, there are some common causes of road rage:
- Cutting off another driver
- Tailing the car in front of you
- Failure to use a blinker
- Driving “too slow”
- Weaving in and out of lanes
Signs of Road RageNow that you know what behavior could potentially cause a road rage incident, it is now time to understand what the signs that another driver has road rage are. The following are common signs of road rage:
- Excessive speeding
- Using rude or obscene gestures
- Excessively honking the horn at another car
- Flashing the headlights
- Yelling or screaming at another driver
- Actually physically attacking another driver
Tips to Stay SafeThere is no way to know whether your driving is going to set off another driver and drive them into road rage. However, there are some things that can be done to protect yourself from road rage – both preventing angering another driver and staying safe if another driver is angry.
- Conscientious Driving: One of the best ways to avoid road rage is to not do anything to anger another driver. Following traffic laws, using your blinker, and avoiding tailgating cars in front of you can potentially prevent road rage.
- Pull over if you suspect another driver has road rage and is driving erratically or dangerously. If you see any of the above mentioned indicators of road rage, or other behavior that is not typical for the average driver, pull over. Let the car that is troubling you pass you and avoid further interaction.
- Alter your route if you suspect road rage. Similar to pulling over, you can also navigate your car to another destination or turn down the next street to escape the road rage driver.