Saturday, February 1, 2014

Road Rage: How To Avoid It

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Why does road rage happen? Because of the traffic, a lot of drivers are hot-headed already. All it takes is a spark, like some guy suddenly cutting in front of you.

To avoid these unfortunate incidents, here are some safety tips to follow:

Tips For The Victim Of Road Rage:

Sometimes, you unknowingly make a driving mistake that causes inconvenience to another vehicle. When such an incident occurs, you could become the victim of road rage. Be very careful. You can never tell what the other driver might do to you. Some drivers actually carry guns in their car.

1. Stay cool even in the midst of reckless drivers. Be a defensive driver and show courtesy.

2. Don't meet anger with anger. Control your emotions and don’t retaliate. The angry driver might be having a bad day already. And irritating him further can cause him to become furious.

3. Never ever make eye contact with an angry driver. This is an important tip. A road rager is looking for a fight and he is not in control of his emotions. He is just waiting for a chance to look at you in the eye before going on the attack. Any eye contact, which he will mistakenly interpret as you giving him the “bad look”, may be enough to trigger an assault.

4. Get away from the angry driver as soon as possible. Don’t let the guy follow you bumper to bumper. Slow down and let him overtake you. Otherwise, take the next turn just to avoid being on the same road with him.

5. Go to a safe place. If a hostile driver tries to pursue, there is a chance for the fight to escalate. It may not be a good idea to go home. Rather, go to the nearest police station where the pursuing driver will be discouraged to make a scene.

6. Plan ahead. Allow the necessary time to get to your location. Try to give yourself a 15 to 30 minute allowance for traffic and other delays.

Tips For The Aggressive Driver:

Are you a potential road rager? Answer truthfully these six questions to find out:

1. Do you regularly exceed the speed limit so you can get to work on time?
2. Do you regularly follow or tailgate other cars?
3. When other drivers annoy you, do you usually honk your horn or flash your lights at them?
4. When other drivers make a mistake, do you often utter bad words at them, whether they can hear it or not?
5. Do you often weave (cut) in and out of traffic just so you can get ahead?
6. When you encounter a bad driver, do you feel a need to correct their attitude by letting them know what you think?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, then your driving may be classified as “aggressive.” This means you are apt to lose your cool. If you answered “yes” to two or more questions, then your driving is considered “hostile” or in the “war zone” territory. This means that other drivers may not be safe with you on the wheel. You may need some help to lessen your anger.

For starters, check out these tips:

1. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can make you a cranky driver. It will also make you prone to accidents and mishaps. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.

2. Put a time allowance on your next appointment. Do you give yourself little room for unforeseen traffic and other delays? Spread out or lessen your meetings to allow more travel time.

3. Don’t drive when you’re angry. You may be having a bad day with your boss or your wife. You may feel you want to drive somewhere just to cool off. However, it might be better for you to just commute or let others drive for you. Sometimes when you’re in a bad mood, you will be prone to get into a fight with someone.

4. Anger can make you sick. Studies show that those people who regularly blow their top are more prone to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, and possibly even cancer. When you get into an argument on the road, consider whether it is worth getting angry at. Why not drive away and let it pass?

5. Try soft music. Instead of playing loud and aggressive music, listen to some relaxing music in the background.

6. Don’t drive for a long time. If you’re on a long trip, take frequent breaks at gas stations to freshen up and go to the bathroom. Relax a bit before driving off again.

7. Be kind to others. If some driver makes a mistake, don’t take it personally. Maybe it was an honest mistake. Just forget it.

For the victim and the road rager, I’m sure both of you think you are in the right. But remember, it takes two to make a fight. Let us obey traffic rules and practice a little patience. You could be saving your own life and the lives of people around you. Take care.

By Dr. Willie T. Ong

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