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How can I help stop road rage?

Here's what you need to know...
  • Road rage is extremely dangerous to all drivers on the road
  • Road rage happens to all drivers at one time or another
  • Know how to stop road rage before it hurts you or others
You get cut off. Somebody tailgates you on the highway. Somebody screams and flips you off because you didn’t blow through a yellow light. Just then…you get that feeling.

You have the overwhelming desire to leave that jerk in the dust, give him some of his own medicine, or teach him a lesson. It’s that mixture of anger and fear that we all know can become something more explosive in an instant: road rage.

Road rage, sometimes called “extreme aggressive driving,” occurs when a person acts on that feeling and does something at best, rude, and at worst, homicidal.

The term road rage was first coined in the late 1980s after a series of shootings on freeways in Florida and California over perceived slights such as being cut off. But how just dangerous is road rage? What causes it? And what can we do about it?

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How dangerous is road rage?

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Road rage is very dangerous.

The AAA Foundation estimates that more than half of all crashes are caused by aggressive driving.

The following are all actions when a driver is overcome by fury:

  • Speeding
  • Improper turns
  • Tailgating
  • Cutting other cars off

All of the above actions greatly increase the odds of being in a fatal accident.

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What causes road rage?

Road rage is generally caused by actual or perceived slights done by other drivers. It’s an overreaction to your life being put at risk.

There are some sufferers of a mental disorder known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), in which the sufferer overreacts emotionally with rage to the situation at hand.

Nobody is really sure how high the occurrence of IED actually is, but some estimates range as high as 7.3% over the lifetime of the population which translates to 1,400,000 potential ticking time bombs out of 190 million licensed drivers.

However, individuals committing actual assault on the road is actually rare; these incidents can be deeply frightening, but they’re not the most risky result of road rage.

Using a car as a weapon is much more common and additionally, it is much riskier result of road rage.

A seemingly normal driver blows a fuse and tries to get revenge on a driver who slighted him, by cutting that person off, and the situation spins out of control, usually hurting other people.

Allstate found that 40% of drivers speed 20 miles over the limit, and 44% of have received three speeding tickets or more.

What can we do about it?

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Be better drivers. Promise to be a better driver: use your turn signals, respect other drivers, abide by the speed limit, and give your fellow drivers enough space to feel safe.

But what if you run across somebody who thinks they’re slighted, and are going over the edge?

  • Don’t engage – Avoid eye contact and don’t reply to any screaming or gestures. Engaging may enrage the person more or involve you in a more dangerous way
  • Get out of the way – If they want to pass you or otherwise hog the road, let them within the limits of your own safety
  • Leave your ego out of it – If somebody acts in a rude fashion, don’t try to teach them a lesson or try to pass them. Let it slide
  • Report dangerous driving to the police as quickly as possible – Give the police the make, the model, the license plate, and the direction of travel, if possible
  • Support enforcement programs – Properly executed, enforcement programs against aggressive driving that mix ticketing with awareness programs like radio ads curbs bad behavior on the road

And sign our petition. If we all work together and commit to being better drivers, we can curb road rage effectively and make the roads a better place for all of us.

Finally, protect yourself on the road. Make sure you’ve got the best insurance for the best price. We’ll give you the security you need to protect yourself should you be the next target of road rage target.

To find the best prices on quality auto insurance, start by entering your ZIP code below!

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