Most people have an opinion on the proper etiquette of driving. When someone violates that etiquette, the reaction can lead to dangerous driving and serious accidents. Road rage is the term often given to hyper-aggressive driving in response to a real or perceived slight. One of the many problems with road rage is that it tends to spread. People who feel they have been the victim of aggressive driving respond by driving aggressively themselves. The problem proliferates until it, potentially, spins out of control.
Safe driving and aggressive driving are never the same thing. Road rage is not harmless. It is not an acceptable response to being the victim of inconsiderate or incompetent driving. It is self-defeating and dangerous. To avoid road rage and aggressive driving, it is important to understand the phenomenon and be aware of the harm it causes.
Road rage incidents increase as congestion increases. Lots of cars in tight quarters is a recipe for angry driving. Traffic is not likely to become less of a problem in the near future. As the roads become more congested, it is important to learn to stay calm and always think about your own health and safety first. Aggressive driving will not help you avoid an accident or stay safe.
Road rage is not generally the act of a criminal-minded driver. In fact, a normally considerate and law-abiding citizen might be more offended by the rude or dangerous acts of others, and therefore might be pushed to events of road rage. Because cars give a layer of anonymity to a situation, a person who would never start a fight might feel comfortable tailgating, making rude gestures or otherwise engaging in intimidating actions while driving. If you would not shove someone who stepped on your foot by accident or cut in front of you in a movie line, you should not honk your horn, scream obscenities or engage in road rage behaviors.
Source: Historic City News, “Guest Column: Aggressive Driving,” by David B. Shoar, 4 March 2013