Accidents on the road can stem from poorly controlled emotions, such as frustration and anger. Sometimes, these negative emotions can take on an extreme form, as seen in a recent incident in Colorado Springs where road rage led to the use of a gun, when the altercation on the road escalated and continued after both parties got out of their vehicles.
But even when you leave firearms out of the picture, powerful negative emotions, including road rage, can lead to serious accidents in the course of driving. Angry or frustrated drivers are often more likely to speed, tailgate, cut off other vehicles, and distract other drivers with excessive honking, yelling, and non-verbal gestures; their negative emotions may also cause them to stop focusing on the road, as they fixate on another driver who’s angering them. Aggressive driving can lead to road rage by provoking anger and fear in multiple drivers; there are incidents where emotions have escalated so much that drivers have attempted to run each other off the road. Data from 2003 to 2007 reported by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety show that over 50% of fatal accidents involve aggressive driving behaviors.
Especially if you’re prone to getting angry and frustrated when driving, what are some tips for keeping calm on the road?
1) Develop the habit of using mental exercises such as counting to 10 to diffuse moments of anger. Other techniques could include breathing exercises that also help ease stress.
2) Play music that you enjoy in the car.
3) Don’t take altercations on the road personally. Some drivers see aggressive behavior directed towards themselves as an injury to their pride and a personal insult. This could lead to one-upmanship on the road or attempts at vengeance.
4) Don’t initiate an aggressive encounter or respond to an aggressive driver by gesturing rudely, screaming, leaning on your horn, or seeking out eye contact. Such behaviors are more likely to cause distraction on the road and lead to an escalation of road rage, with potentially deadly results.
5) If you can, avoid an angry driver by moving to another lane or by letting them pass you. Remind yourself of your priorities in life, and that it isn’t worth it to endanger yourself and others by getting worked up about some random stranger on the road.
If you feel genuinely threatened by another driver, call the police as soon as it’s safe. And if another car’s angry and aggressive driver has led to your involvement in a collision, contact experienced Colorado Springs car accident lawyers to discuss your case; they will help you determine who’s responsible for the accident and advocate for you to receive necessary financial compensation.