The Epidemic of Road Rage


The Epidemic of Road Rage

by Amy Lignor


In the headlines this weekend came news of Will Smith, former NFL star for the New Orleans Saints, who had been shot and killed after an apparent case of road rage took place on Saturday night. This latest headline brought forth, once again, the fears that can come by not knowing what to do or what path to take when dealing with an aggressive driver.


road rage, Will Smith, aggressive drivers, out of control, impaired emotions

R.I.P. Will Smith

Smith, with his wife in the car, was driving in New Orleans when a fender-bender occurred with another driver. This other person got out, confronted Smith, and allegedly fired six to eight shots, according to witnesses. The ex-defensive end was killed, and his wife was seriously injured. The shooter was arrested and booked on charges of second-degree murder, but a family has been destroyed in seconds all due to another who’d gone out of control.


The reports for road rage accidents are more than frightening, with most ending in death. There are even drivers who, after seeing another in a car with a cellphone to their ear, pull by and wait somewhere else for their chance to stop the cellphone driver and cause pain.


Every magazine and newspaper ran headlines in 2015 (now 2016) about road rage increasing. Associated Press articles spoke of “Road Warriors” and “Aggressive Drivers” who stepped out of their cars to have free-for-alls with other drivers just because they were mad. No accident with the cars, in some cases, had even happened. It was just in the beginning of 2016 that TIME reported it was “high noon on the country’s streets and highways.” Although we are not the Wild West anymore, the idea seems real. Hundreds of road-rage incidents are reported in the United States. When it comes to road rage, the driver is actually “driving under the influence,” but instead of alcohol, they are being influenced by their impaired emotions.

It is necessary to speak on the fact that using cellphones while driving has become the number one cause for car accidents, beating the always number one since cars were first created; drunk driving. Phones have caused many deaths to drivers, passengers, and oncoming vehicles. But this wave of having to use the cellphone while driving has also upped the ante when it comes to road rage. Accidents occur, people aren’t paying attention while on the phone, they’ve looked down at the phone, etc., but the accidents don’t end when the “crash” sounds. Rage has now taken over the streets.


As it stands for 2016, young men are initiating most road-rage incidents reported, but anyone can feel rage when they’re behind the wheel because they are taking “offense” at what they think another driver is doing. Preexisting stress and massive worries can also spark road rage in an instant. But…what’s the cure? Is there one?


Doctors say that recognizing and controlling aggressive thoughts, feelings, and actions are necessary to stop road rage. A study was done of over three hundred men in a court-ordered domestic abuse program who had prior convictions for aggressive driving. A year after taking what has been introduced as “compassion classes,” only seven went on to receive additional convictions.


But how can one avoid it on the road? There are a few things, perhaps an outline seeing as that no one knows what is really happening in another’s mind, people can try to do while traveling. You can avoid angering other drivers by going the speed limit, using turn signals, obeying traffic signs, etc. Also, avoiding gesturing at another driver – whether they are in the wrong or not – is another good way to stop a fight before it even has the chance to become one. Seeing drivers racing, glaring, or honking – it is best to put distance between you and the other car, and if he or she becomes truly threatening, drive to a police station or a crowded public place immediately.


When it comes to managing your own stress and anger, use the music provided by that radio of yours to relax and calm down. Remember: Road rage is not how you can control the other drivers out there, it has to begin by keeping control in your own driver’s seat.


Source:  Baret News


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