Chances are, you’ve likely experienced road rage at some point during your time on the road.
Road rage is the expression of frustration with another driver’s actions. A few examples of road rage include tailgating, throwing objects, brake checking, and making obscene gestures.
While it may feel cathartic to express your road rage, doing so is incredibly dangerous because it increases the likelihood of an accident.
This is something that you might not appreciate until you understand just how it works. Knowing the consequences of your actions is a great way to make smarter driving choices.
To help you avoid losing your cool, we’ll explain how road rage leads to car accidents below!
The first thing to understand about road rage is that it causes you to lose control of your emotions.
If you break down the very name of road rage, this becomes quite clear. Rage is an extreme form of anger, which you’ll become consumed by during a bout of road rage.
There’s something about driving that makes the actions of another driver particularly infuriating. While it often isn’t a big deal to get cut off in traffic, it might trigger something in your brain that makes you mad.
This anger hits a switch that pushes rational thought out of the window. As a result, you may behave in ways that you usually wouldn’t.
Even ordinarily calm people can be affected by road rage. Car accidents are stressful experiences and anything that causes a near-miss can be enraging.
As a final thought about this, road rage is not a conscious decision. This means that you can’t always prevent it from happening. With this in mind, you should learn techniques that help you manage your emotions to calm down when you feel road rage.
After feeling road rage, your next action may be to drive aggressively.
Aggressive driving can be characterized in many different ways. Whether you’re tailgating or brake checking, you’re driving dangerously.
The problem with aggressive driving is that it places pressure on another driver to react to your actions. This is often the entire purpose of road rage.
If a driver forced you to slam on your brakes, then you might want to cause them to do the same. Driving aggressively is how you can make this happen.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that another driver will respond appropriately. They might either fail to notice your behavior or ignore it, either of which can lead to an accident.
Defensive driving is all about being safe and aggressive driving is the exact opposite. This means that your safety is not a concern, which is a flawed way of approaching driving.
Feelings of road rage can also lead to an intentional collision.
If you’re already feeling upset, then an incident that incites road rage might cause you to act particularly drastically. Any thoughts of safety will go out the window and this means that you don’t care if an accident happens.
Road rage can quickly lead to mutually assured destruction. This means that both you and the other driver will suffer. You might not care about your suffering, so long as the other driver is also impacted.
A great way of making this happen is by intentionally hitting the driver that caused your road rage. You might ram into the side or back of their car or brake check them without adequate stopping distance.
Intentional collisions are a less common result of road rage, but they do still happen and make for a great reason to limit your road rage.
As the last consideration for road rage, preventing it should be your priority.
This starts with having more patience for other drivers on the road. Mistakes happen and they don’t need to be magnified into dangerous situations.
Even if a driver does something intentionally, this is still not a good reason to lash out. Being consumed by road rage is far more detrimental to you than it is to the other driver.