“You Idiot!” “Freakin’ Moron!” Where did you learn to drive? Grade School?!” These are only the G-Rated comments made by one experiencing road rage. The American Psychological Association defines road rage as the reaction of certain high-angered motorist to the behaviors of others while driving. Generally, aggressive driving and road rage is lumped together and used interchangeably as if they have the same meaning. However, the act of aggressively driving is an entirely different beast. This would include one who follows too closely, speeds unnecessarily, changes lanes in an unsafe manner, fails to signal, or engages in any other inconsiderate or negligent conduct while driving on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as taking place when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Aggressive driving may warrant a mere traffic citation, while road rage conduct can be heightened to an all-out criminal offense. Look at it like this, one who drives aggressively does so simply “by nature” or is triggered into doing so due to them running behind or being impatient. Road rage is brought on by a reaction to another’s conduct. When a motorist cuts you off, or doesn’t allow you to merge into that necessary lane, you react to that with anger, right?
Four Ways to Indicate Whether You Are An Aggressive Drive
- You hit the gas when the light turns yellow
- When someone tries to merge at the last minute, you “teach them a lesson” by not letting them in
- You lay on your horn when someone delays response at a green light
- Slow drivers who travel in the left lane, significantly frustrate you, so you ride their bumper or travel at an high speed past them on the right
Eight Critical Signs That You Have Road Rage
- You feel that anyone that tries to overcome you while driving on the road is disrespecting you
- You effortlessly make rude and angry gestures at other drivers frequently
- You have the mindset that any bad driver is either female, foreign, or a teenager
- You excessively use your horn, and its use is not usually for safety precautions
- You scream and yell at any driver that even slightly irritates you, whether they are able to hear you are not
- You try to get back at other drivers for intentional or unintentionally behavior that angered you
- You flash your lights excessively
- Anytime you drive, it is highly likely that you will get angry with another motorist
Please keep in mind that whether you are an aggressive driver or a driver who bouts with road rage, you are not only putting yourself in danger, but you are endangering the lives of those around you. It is pertinent that you figure out your personal issues, address them, and get help to resolve them. Limit the stressors in your life, leave early so that you can arrive on time, and show some compassion. These small tips can help not only make you a better person, but they can save you from a life of grief when someone may be injured by your actions. Think about it, It’s Vital!