Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.” That makes for a lot of happiness lost on our roads each year.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety decided to investigate how common road rage was by asking drivers what acts they had carried out in anger during the last year. Over 80% admitted to one or more actions. These were the most common things people said they had done:
- Driven too close behind someone: 51%
- Shouted at someone in another vehicle: 47%
- Used their horn at another driver: 45%
- Gesticulated: 33%
- Blocked another car: 24%
- Stepped out of the car and confronted another driver: 4%
- Shunted another vehicle: 3%
Having road rage is not an offense in itself, but the aggressive driving that results may be. Even if you control your urge to raise one finger to another driver, you are less likely to make safe decisions when your blood starts to boil. Getting worked up about something that has already happened distracts you from the road around you.
Your reactions may also worsen the other driver’s response and escalate the situation resulting in a serious motor vehicle crash. Remember, you do not know how the other person will react. More than one person has been murdered when they stepped out of the car to give someone a piece of their mind.
If another driver does something wrong without injuring you or damaging your vehicle, the best thing you can do is forget about it. If you find that difficult, pull over and take some fresh air until you can. If their actions cause you injury, seek legal help to claim compensation.