By: Sheriff Carmine Marceno
The growth of population and the increased traffic that accompanies such growth appears to generate a rise in patterns of driver frustration. Sprinkle in the additional stressors of a pandemic, inflation and the other tensions that most of us experience and you have a recipe for “road rage.”
Some drivers engage in aggressive, careless and unsafe operation of their vehicle. Behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, weaving through traffic, horn-honking and abrupt lane-changing prompt “high- anger drivers” to react poorly to this manner of driving.
Many of these incidents can be avoided. Consider:
- Changing lanes when being tailgated. While tailgating is unsafe and a ticket-able offense, you need not allow it to escalate into an incident.
- Allowing others to pass.
- If another driver uses inappropriate finger gestures, ignore them.
- Avoid eye contact. Many reports indicate that eye contact escalates these “ragers.”
- Attempt to remain behind angry drivers. You are far less likely to be injured if you do so.
- Never exit your vehicle to confront another driver.
- Pull off of the road, if necessary. When doing so, utilize well-lit, populated areas. Create space between your vehicle and theirs by allowing them to leave the scene.
- Contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office or local law enforcement should you feel threatened or unsafe.
These incidents will continue to occur. A simple driving error may prompt anger and violence. However, calm and non-antagonistic behavior can usually de-escalate an incident. Be courteous, non- confrontational and mature while operating your vehicle.