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The Dangers of Road Rage

young man experiencing road rage in danger of getting into a car accidentIf you spend your mornings or afternoon commuting along Interstate-10 or any heavily-congested street like Montana Avenue or Lee Trevino, then you know how inconvenient or aggravating it can feel getting from A to B. In recent times, El Paso has seen road closures and construction along I-10, which adds to the mix of problems commuting in any direction.

With these added issues comes an increase of road rage. The term stems from aggressive driving behavior in Los Angeles that took place between 1987 and 1988 when irrational freeway shootings took place along Interstate 10, 405, and 110. Although El Paso doesn’t see the level of traffic like that of L.A., road rage is an everyday occurrence for most drivers in the Sun City. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), approximately 56 percent of car accidents are a result of road rage. We may be guilty of feeling angry at other drivers but we should also reconsider acting out on these emotions in an attempt to avoid car accidents.

Common Causes of Road Rage

 

  • Traffic. Traffic tends to be the most prominent cause of road rage. We’ve all been there. Sitting in the non-moving congestion of cars, looking at the minutes pass on the dashboard, and then a driver cuts in front of us in an attempt to get ahead.
  • Running late. When we’re pressed for time we tend to drive erratically. We cut people off, speed passed yellow lights, yield instead of stopping, and become annoyed with anyone who gets in our way.
  • Driving too slow or too fast. If we’re a fast driver, we tend to hate slow drivers. If we drive slow, we might get anxious with fast drivers and come to a sudden brake. These two situations are unfavorable for both drivers.
  • Rude behavior. In Texas, the highway motto is “Drive friendly — the Texas Way.” This motto, however, tends to be ignored when we decide not to let oncoming drivers in, making room for a car to move lanes, or tail-gating a driver.    

 

Driving Friendly May Prevent Car Accidents

If you’ve ever taken a defensive driving course, then you know one of the lessons instructors focus on is how to avoid road rage. Given that half of car accidents are caused by road rage, learning to control emotions while driving may help prevent accidents.

You can try using the following tips to help prevent aggressive behavior while driving:

 

  • Be considerate. It may be difficult but try thinking of the other drivers as your grandma, grandpa, mother, or father who is not driving terrible on purpose.   
  • Looks for ways to calm down. Listening to calm music may help your emotions, especially in long commutes. You should also try focusing on your breathing and fill your car with calming scents like rosewood, pine, or bergamot.

 

  • Think of the ramifications. Remember, the moment is only temporary but if you act out on your anger it will have long-term consequences.    

What To Do If You’re A Victim of Road Rage

If you’ve been in a car accident that stemmed from another driver’s road rage, it’s important to take notes of the other driver’s behavior. Common initial reactions are throwing hands up in the air, waving the middle finger out the window, or honking erratically. Contact the Huerta Law Firm in El Paso to begin working on your claim against the negligent driver.