Avoiding Road Rage

The two incidents reported in the media about road rage over the past few days is very concerning. One about the biker smashing a SUV’s window and harming the driver; second a rogue medicine professional driving erratically and shooting at the other driver. Many times I have felt anger while driving, especially when you see someone speeding ignoring the safety of other vehicles. This is not that uncommon on the Pennsylvania roads near Philadelphia. Another reason is when you are trying to merge onto the highway and the vehicle on the expressway sticks to the closest lane to the merge and not leave space making it an unsafe merge. But over a period of time (nearly twenty years), I have learnt to be better safe than sorry. Here are some tips to control your anger on the road.

  • If someone is going slow in front of you, don’t tailgate them. There could be a good reason for the slowness. He or she might be in an unfamiliar area looking for an address. It could be a young driver just gotten his license and might be intimidated by the traffic. It could a very old person trying to go somewhere when there was no one else to drive her there. Think of all the reasons not to get angry. It could have been one of your daughters or parents in that slow vehicle. It isn’t a good reason to get angry.
  • If someone is tailgating you, it is best to give way and let him/her go. You could peer into your rear view mirror and try to see the other driver. This works most of the times for me. No one wants to be reported. Sometime, people tend to drive fast without realizing the speed limits or they might have gotten off the expressway and it might be the speed inertia. Once you let him pass, take your cell phone out and try to snap a photo if you can. This might send a message to the driver and also might come in handy. However, use your judgement if you think the other driver is way too aggressive. It is again better to be safe.
  • When you drive, make sure you are safe. But also do your utmost to share the way with others. Always put your turn signal on when needed ahead of time. While making a left turn, don’t stop right after the white line. Let there be space so others can get by you – you don’t want to hold up traffic while you can. Be considerate of people try to turn into smaller roads or onto driveways when they need to slow down on a busy road. It could happen to you one day.
  • If someone shows a finger at you, don’t show the finger back. He or she is probably not as mature or understanding of the situation. Best to let it go and avoid getting angry.
  • If you are young especially, keep your anger in check. Learning to be considerate to others teaches you far more positively in life than showing off you anger. Being angry is easy – anyone can get angry. Being considerate and tolerant is not so easy; it is the hallmark of a much evolved being.

 

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