If you live or work in an urban area such as Houston, you most likely have to deal with traffic every day. This can lead frustration, and unfortunately can result in road rage.
“Road rage can manifest in numerous ways. For example, you could be driving at a normal speed or in your own lane and then somebody cuts you off,” says Dr. Asim Shah, a professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. “This can trigger road rage within you or is a sign that the other driver is already experiencing road rage.”
To avoid participating in or escalating a potential road rage situation, Shah suggests the following:
- Leave the house earlier in order to avoid becoming upset, irritated, stressed or anxious
- Avoid driving distractions, such as talking or texting on your cell phone
- If you are in a position in which you are the target of another driver’s road rage, you should simply ignore the driver
- Keep the purpose of your journey in mind
Shah warned that fatalities have occurred due to a combination of road rage, an inability to control impulses and access to firearms.
“If somebody honks at you, which is usually the starting point of road rage, ignore them. The same advice applies if somebody comes close to your car and starts screaming at you. It can be difficult not to respond, but it’s the safest thing to do.”
Read more about aggressive driving and road rage on the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety website.