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Road rage: What is it and how to prevent it

Road rage

If you are a daily commuter, chances are, you might have experienced road rage in one way or another. With Metro Manila’s traffic jams as a daily occurrence, the risk of getting into a heated argument with another motorist is higher.

There have been reported and celebrated cases of prominent individuals, businessmen being engulfed by anger and resulting in severe consequences. While some cases end up in legal battles, others end up physical harm and worse death.

What is road rage? This phenomenon can be defined as aggressive and violent behavior stemming from a driver’s uncontrolled anger at the actions of another motorist. Oftentimes, aggressive driving escalates road rage.

Aggressive driving is an accumulation of illegal driving maneuvers, often resulting from emotional distress. If you find yourself getting angry and upset on the road, try to notice if you’re engaging in any of the following aggressive driving behaviors: tailgating; cutting others off; not using turn signals; mentally or verbally cursing other drivers; honking; flashing your headlights; brake checking (sudden stops for no apparent reason) and driving like out of a scene from the movie Fast and the Furious.

Experts say it is important to determine your emotions and reactions, as they can influence your behavior on the road. Normal triggers for road rage are getting fired or having an argument at work; marital problems; running late for an appointment and even after scolding your kids in the car before dropping them off at school.

It seems like everyone is susceptible to road rage, but studies have shown that younger male drivers and people with certain psychological disorders are most prone to engage in aggressive driving and road rage. If you fall into these categories, you should be extra conscious of your emotions and actions on the road.

Preventing road rage

If you are caught in a possible road rage situation, it is best to diffuse it before escalation by first showing remorse by waving to the other driver and mouthing that you’re sorry and allowing them to pass you. It the end, it’s always a good feeling to give way.

Better yet, before driving off from your garage, here are a few steps to take so you won’t be tempted into road rage:

As you drive off to go anywhere, put on some soothing music. Always keep a mentality that you must share the road with other cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians, and nobody is perfect; keep a considerable amount of space between you and other drivers, refrain from making prolonged eye contact, moderate your honking long and hard, and giving obscene gestures at other drivers.

Put this in mind, don’t be a statistic.