No one is a perfect driver. We've all failed to use a turn signal, followed to closely behind someone else or even cut someone off when merging. Many of us use are cars for far more than simple driving. We eat, get ready for work, yell at the kids, talk on the phone and even ar-gue with our GPS in the car. Each time we drive distracted, we are at risk for becoming the fo-cus of someone's rage.
What happens when you're having a good driving day and the person in the car in front of you isn't? Do you quietly mutter under your breath at their stupidity? Maybe you are so bold that you scream out of your window and let your finger fly. Road rage is a serious epidemic in Amer-ica; no one is innocent, and no one is immune. It's time that you stop making excuses for your-self and learn the truth about road rage.
When you take the time to read about aggressive driving statistics
, the numbers can be alarming. In a study conducted by Farmers Insurance Group, 15 percent of drivers admitted to cutting off other drivers within the last year. While that may not be alarming in itself, it's the fact that the cutting off was intentional that raises eyebrows. Of the people surveyed, 14.3 percent reported getting into a shouting or honking match with other drivers.
2.You May Have Road Rage If...
It's not easy for people to admit their faults, and you may not think that you have road rage. If you have ever muttered about the driving of others, gotten irritated while driving, tailgated, honked in anger, directed obscene gestures toward other drivers, verbally or physically fought with another driver or took unnecessary risks out of anger, you have exhibited symptoms of road rage. If you display any of these offenses on a regular basis, or in any combination, you may be allowing your anger to affect your safety.
Though you may be a naturally impatient person, road rage
is typically a learned behavior. What you need to understand is that you are the cause of road rage, not the poor driving habits of the drivers that you share the road with. Road rage is a chosen response to stimuli expe-rienced while you are behind the wheel. Because it is a learned behavior
, you need to be very careful about how you react to other drivers when your children are in the car. Consider that, if you have young children, they will have years of sitting in the back seat watching you rage before they get their own licenses to drive.
4.The Four Degrees of Road Rage
Road rage is divided into four degrees, first through fourth. If you are in the first degree of road rage, you may make faces at poor drivers or even flip them the bird. If you experience impaired judgment, can't stop with a single finger gesture or make repeated faces to be sure that you're noticed, you are considered to be a second degree offender. Third degree road rage includes tailgating, cutting in front of a vehicle and then impeding that driver's process, "brake-checking" the driver behind you or flashing your high beams in order to cause annoyance. When you've gotten so angry that you decide to injure another person or cause damage to another driver's vehicle, you are considered to be locked tightly into fourth degree road rage.
5.Reducing the Rage
It's never too late to learn how to keep your cool while you're behind the wheel. If you find your-self experiencing frustration frequently, there are ways that you can maintain your calm and keep yourself, your passengers and others on the road as safe as possible. Leave your house with plenty of time to reach your destination, practice deep breathing exercises, limit distractions, take frequent breaks if you are driving long distance, and realize that you are choosing to be angry. Additionally, you can drive courteously, more slowly and with proper attention to the road and area surrounding your vehicle.
Road rage is dangerous for everyone on the road. It's important that you understand just how dangerous it is, and that you take the proper steps to maintain your calm when you slip behind the wheel. For more information on safe driving, visit www.kanetix.ca. By understanding the truth about road rage and the part that you play in the problem, you can become a safer, more courteous driver.
Author Karen Boyarsky is an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @Boyarsky_kareni.