Staying Sane on the Interstate

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Driving can be a stressful experience. Sitting in one place, trying to get to where you want to get to in one piece, on time and without wasting gas can tangle your nerves up in knots. Factor in road construction, accidents, bad weather, whining kids and other drivers and you have a recipe for road rage.

According to the National Transportation Safety Administration, aggressive driving includes hazardous maneuvers, such as speeding, weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights, whereas road rage involves an act of violence. Menacing behavior, such as purposefully bumping another car, forcing someone off the road, or actually getting out of the car and approaching another driver, with or without a weapon constitutes road rage.

Road rage may begin as aggressive driving or it may arise when you are provoked. Often, road rage escalates from seething anger or frustration at circumstance that occurred before you got behind the wheel. Once on the road, the anonymity of other drivers allows you to vent your frustration by speeding, honking or tailgating. Soon, expletives fly at clueless drivers who had no idea they did something that bugged you.

To reduce your risk of developing road rage, evaluate your emotional state before driving. If you are already angry, walk it off before putting the key in the ignition. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination if being late causes you anxiety. Give the other motorist the benefit of the doubt. Chances are you’ve committed the same offense you are getting upset over. Keep your car comfortable by running the air conditioning when its hot or the heater when its cold outside. Play relaxing music and avoid music with violent rhythms and lyrics.

Road rage is hereditary, meaning you can pass it on to your children. If your children see you yelling and gesturing to other drivers, they will assume that is proper highway behavior. Road rage and aggressive driving increase your risk for accidents, with will raise your insurance premiums. People who do unto others can often find the cheapest insurance, especially cheap SR22 insurance. If you’ve been caught driving without insurance, SR22 insurance allows you to legally continue driving your vehicle. In addition to putting you in danger, aggressive or violent driving can result in traffic tickets, fines and increased insurance costs. To ensure you get the cheapest insurance, take steps to control your anger and reduce the threat of road rage. You’ll be doing everyone a favor.

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