The Truth About Road Rage
It Can Happen to Any of Us
Have you ever road raged? Chances are that most people when asked that question would respond that they have gotten upset, but they have never resorted to road rage. However, if we were to be secretly in the car with them as they drove, most people have indeed raged. It turns out that road rage isn’t necessarily brake checking, swerving, and flipping people off.
Road rage, whether you’re committing the rage or receiving it, can be deadly. In order to prevent an unfortunate accident, know your surroundings, and drive calmly.
Road Rage Can Happen to Anyone
Here’s a quick quiz to see if you have ever raged:
- Do you drive over the speed limit and try to beat red lights? You’ve likely raged.
- Do you follow closely, honk, or flash your lights when you feel someone is driving slow? You’ve likely raged.
- Do you scowl at “stupid” drivers? You’ve likely raged.
- Do you talk on the phone while driving? You’ve likely raged.
- Do you turn or switch lanes without signaling? You’ve likely raged.
- Do you switch lanes without looking? You’ve likely raged.
Road rage isn’t driving maniacally and trying to run someone off the road. It’s driving in a selfish manner as though you’re the only person on the road, and your schedule is the only one that matters. Even if you haven’t brake checked, but you mutter obscenities at another driver, you’re setting yourself up for a bad time.
The Results of Road Rage
There are over 30,000 traffic fatalities in the US each year. 20,000 of them are caused by people who are overly aggressive with their driving. There are another 12,000 preventable injuries caused by a road raging driver.
If you are the recipient of the rage, there is a 50% chance that you will respond to the aggression with aggression. It turns out that the road rage people experience triggers their own emotions to drive poorly.
Do Your Part to Prevent Fatalities
Before you get into the car, know that you’re going to run into bad drivers (hopefully not literally). These drivers will cut you off, swerve into your lane, drive slowly, drive quickly, honk at you, flash their lights, pass you illegally, or brake check you. This is going to happen whenever you’re driving on a road that is shared with thousands of other motorists.
Before you get into the car, make the commitment to stay calm. Follow the laws, drive reasonably, and decide before the event that you’re going to be calm, follow the laws, and drive reasonably. You might make a mistake, or another person might make a mistake, it happens. But if you decide before the moment that you’re going to be calm you are much more likely to be calm.
Before you get into the car, have an escape plan. If you end up being the recipient of the road rage, your plan should be to pull over (when it is safe to do so) and let the other person move on. You can diffuse the situation by removing yourself from the situation. If they stop to try to yell at you, drive away safely and get to a public place where they are less likely to be violent. Call the police once you are stopped if you feel threatened (and be sure to get a description of the vehicle and the license plate number).
Before you get into the car, consider investing in a dashcam. It’s an unfortunate part of living in an ever-crowding world. Things are going to happen, and if you are hit by a road rager, the dash cam can help you settle an insurance claim quickly.
Big Sky Collision Center Says No Accidents
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we want to make sure that there are no accidents! Of course that isn’t entirely reasonable, they will happen.
If you find that you’ve been hit and you need your car repaired to factory safety standards, come see us in downtown Billings. We have more certifications than any other body shop around, and we will make sure that you are treated right.