In Florida, two men exchanged words in at an intersection, pull into a nearby parking lot, get out of their cars, and start beating on each other. One man has a knife. He stabs the other man in the face several times, and the knife victim is rushed to the hospital.
In Wisconsin, a woman is teaching her teenage son to drive. They have a minor car crash. The driver of the other vehicle shoots her to death.
In Georgia, a man runs over another person he thought was throwing golf balls at his car.
Unfortunately, incidents like this are reported to law enforcement every day.
How can these incidents be avoided? Where did these cases go seriously wrong?
Statistics are Alarming
- According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 80% of polled drivers express severe aggression, anger, or road rage at least once a year.
- Per NHTSA, 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.
- 37% of aggressive driving incidents involve firearms, according to AutoVantage.
5 Tips to Avoid Road Rage
In my book Life Rage, I have several suggestions when dealing with the other guy, listed on Page 117-118. Here is a synopsis:
- Never pull over into a parking lot.
If you are that concerned about another person’s actions and it causes your road rage, immediately call 9-1-1 and report the other driver. If possible, have the make, model, and license plate of the vehicle. Explain what just happened and what direction they are traveling in.
- If you are stationary, don’t get out of your car.
Sometimes, you are in the middle of a road with slow-moving or stationary traffic. Even if you have words with someone, don’t get out of your car! This shows an aggressive nature on your part and can escalate the situation. Again, call 9-1-1 and report the incident. Use your phone to record the other person’s aggressive behavior toward you.
- Don’t respond with an angry gesture.
Avoid eye contact and move your vehicle away from this situation at the earliest possible time.
- It is not your job to teach someone else how to drive.
Yes, there are a lot of bad drivers out there, but you are not going to teach them anything by “flipping them off” or yelling at them. Chances are you are just going to make them even angrier.
In a study cited in my book, 85% of the enraged drivers would have dropped the matter if the driver causing the problem would have apologized for their action. Suppose you are in the wrong, such as texting and driving, state that you made a mistake, and you are sorry for any problems it caused the other person.
More About Life Rage
If you’d like to know more about ways to deal with rage, you can obtain your author-signed copy of Life Rage through our contact form.
If you would like me to deliver a talk to your community group or company in person or via a webinar, please contact me.