Road Rage and Its Consequences
Engaging with angry drivers could lead to fatal consequences as an innocent driver recently experienced.
It has happened to most of us, you’re driving and suddenly someone cuts you off, you get frustrated and angry and signal an offensive hand gesture at the other driver. We’ve all experienced that emotion of rage while driving, but road rage is something that could lead to serious car accidents or, if a person can’t control their emotions, has led to some fatal incidents.
What is Road Rage?
Road rage can be defined as violent actions by drivers who feel stressed or angry. It occurs when a driver reacts angrily or violently against other drivers, this can be done by tailgating them, cutting them off, yelling or making obscene gestures at them. At its most tame form, it may be just honking the horn angrily or yelling at the other driver inside the car. Unfortunately, road rage incidents have resulted in death, for example when a student driver got into a minor crash with another vehicle and the driver shot and killed the student driver’s mom.
Why is Road Rage Dangerous
Being temperamental on the road and acting on your rage can distract you and make you drive unsafe. Accidents involving serious injuries are more prone to happen if a driver is not paying attention to the road.
Insulting other drivers is not only disrespectful but it can put your life at risk. In many states people are legally able to carry concealed weapons, insulting or yelling at someone carrying a weapon they may feel attacked and could be tempted to reach for their gun.
Be a safe driver not only with your driving skills but also on how you interact with others, remember that other people may also feel stressed and have things on their minds and not every movement they do on the road is a personal attack to you.
How to Prevent Feeling Angry on the Road
There are ways you can prevent feeling angry on the road, one of them is reducing your stress levels. Increased stress makes drivers temperamental, which could result in anger towards minor errors caused by other drivers. Have a good night’s rest. Studies show that driving drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Make sure you get enough sleep to prevent yourself from being distracted or falling asleep on the wheel.
Improve your time management. Give yourself enough time to get to your destination on time. Having your lunch and clothes prepared the night before can free up time in the morning so you don’t have to rush through traffic.
Be a respectful driver. Don’t take the actions from other drivers personally. Try not to react to disrespectful gestures, a reaction will just make them angrier and possibly lead to a bigger offense.
Is Road Rage a Criminal Offense?
The actual emotion of driving angry is not a crime by itself but the acts committed because of your rage can be. Sometimes road rage can lead to assault, if the driver gets off their car and purposefully harms another driver or their vehicle, then they can be charged with a violent crime.
Violent crimes include assault and battery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and more. Even if you are just arrested for one of these crimes but not convicted, that criminal record can have serious consequences in your personal and professional life.
Road rage could also lead to a harassment lawsuit if the enraged driver expressed extremely offensive remarks to others.
Road rage can lead to distracted driving and cause car accidents. Drivers have also been victims of harassment and physical assault by angry drivers. Be courteous on the road and don’t let your emotions get the best of you.