Is There Anything To Road Rage?

An Emotional Start

How likely is it to get enraged while in your car or truck? Well, if you are a veteran driver, you probably know how emotions can affect driving. Long before starting your car, you've had to wake up, deal with home emergencies, perhaps get your kids moving, and worry about the upcoming work day. After all the hassle, you get behind the wheel and hope that you make it to work on time. "Characters" Add To Road Experience

Now that you're stressed out by the way your day may have started, your emotions may be fueled by having to deal with the following characters:

Such folks turn every day on the road into a test of patience and are a challenge to our civility, but there's another perspective that drivers must consider. The "Character" In Each Of Us

"Road rage" has become a popular way to refer to driving incidents involving aggressive or violent behavior. Various sources have blamed increased traffic accidents and fatalities on road rage. Others debunk the term as a "fad." and say that traffic statistics don't reflect increased violence on the part of drivers.

Chances are, most instances of poor driving are isolated incidents. Every driver is guilty of an act that can be blamed on a momentary lapse in judgment. You or I may make a proper lane change or legally proceed through an intersection 99 out of 100 times. However, the drivers who witness our mistakes may assume that we're hopelessly inept. Take a deep breath from behind your wheel and recognize that "Larry," "Mary," or "Karl" may be making a rare appearance in the guise of a "character," but actually may be someone who normally drives without making mistakes. Why Be A Reasonable Driver?

It makes sense to give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. One reason is because it's earned. Most drivers do a terrific job on the road. Especially when you consider the dangers inherent in driving; such as:

A better reason for staying calm behind the wheel, is that cool-headed drivers make better decisions. They have a better chance of avoiding or minimizing accidents. Finally, you may run into serious problems if you cause an accident while acting too aggressive. There's a greater chance of causing serious injury and a higher likelihood of legal consequences. You also increase your chances of being sued. Oh, and let's not forget that insurers aren't seeking to cover drivers who fail to use common sense. Who Needs It?

Driving is tough enough without complicating it with rude or aggressive behavior and car insurance isn't free, so start your car, give other drivers a break, and keep a cool head. It's an attitude that creates the best chance for getting where you need to go....safely.

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 1998

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