Road rage is a dangerous yet common behavior that affects many drivers and can lead to serious accidents and injuries. It's important to recognize the signs of road rage in yourself and take steps to control it when it flares up — or better yet, prevent it from happening in the first place.
Here are five signs that you might have road rage:
You have a hard time controlling your emotions while driving. This might include feeling overwhelmed or agitated while behind the wheel or having trouble calming down after a frustrating incident on the road.
You frequently get outwardly angry while driving. In other words, not only do you have difficulty controlling your emotions, you have trouble keeping those emotions to yourself. Lacking restraint, you make it clear to everyone around you how you are feeling in the moment — especially the person(s) you believe is responsible for your current emotional state. This could manifest itself in a number of ways such as honking your horn excessively, yelling at other drivers, or making rude gestures.
You take risks, drive aggressively, and have trouble following traffic laws. Speeding, making sudden lane changes, and running red lights are typical road-rage behaviors. Your emotions impair your judgment and decision-making on the road — to the detriment of you and everyone you encounter.
You make a conscious effort to interfere with, intimidate, or endanger other drivers. Purposely blocking a passing lane, tailgating or cutting off other vehicles, and braking without reason or warning are a few examples of overt actions sometimes taken in a misguided attempt to retaliate or punish another driver. These actions are not only dangerous, but illegal.
You have a history of driving violations or accidents caused by aggressive behavior. Many drivers only need to look at their past driving record — and their current insurance rates — to see an undeniable, documented pattern of road rage. That’s because repeated unsafe behavior inevitably catches up to those who drive aggressively. So even if you’re slow to recognize your own road rage, chances are that your driving record will speak for itself.
Tools for Dealing with Road Rage
If you do recognize signs of road rage in yourself, you need to get this under control. But what can you do? Here are a couple of possibilities for you:
Defensive driving courses are also great tools for dealing with road rage. These courses prepare drivers with the coping mechanisms and skills they need to stay safe on the road and keep their emotions in check. Students learn how to anticipate and respond to dangerous situations on the road, as well as how to stay calm and in control behind the wheel.
At IDriveSafely.com, you can take a defensive driving course from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
As a last word of advice, don’t be afraid to seek help from a professional if you are unable to control your road rage on your own or need some extra support along the way.