Rage is not just anger. It is all the emotions erupting at once. Pair this with an automobile, and you not only have a combustible situation, you have a potentially deadly one. Road rage is a scenario that you should never participate in. If you are the recipient of someone else’s road rage or caught in the middle of a road rage situation, there are measures you can take to dissipate it.
Your Road Rage:
If you are the road rager, you may feel that your anger is justified. Someone in a hurry cut you off and you narrowly avoided an accident. The other driver’s carelessness could have been your own demise. There is plenty of reason to be mad, but directing it towards the offending driver will only get you into trouble, if not killed. This type of rage scenario falls into the “not worth it” category.
Your Emotional Level:
On a scale from one to ten, it is important to keep your emotional temperature between a three to five. This way, if someone on the road offends you, there is ample room for you to feel some anger but not blow your top. If you are stressed out when you get behind the wheel, chances are that your emotional level is at about a nine. Any negative situation will push you over the top, where raging is the next step.
Check In With Yourself:
On a stressful day, before you start your engine, take a moment to center yourself and take your emotional temperature. If it is over five, close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths while you recall something pleasurable. Purpose in your heart not to direct your frustration at other drivers. Even though road raging may feel good at the time, the consequences could last forever.
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Better to quiet yourself, repeat a positive affirmation, and switch your car radio to some calming music. If you are cut off or honked at, for the sake of yourself and your family, let it go. If you do this, you can almost guarantee that you will never spend a night behind bars, and you will live longer.
Road Rage Directed at You:
If someone is road raging at you, slow down and let him pass you. Do not engage in eye contact. The best thing that you can do is stay away from that person’s vehicle. If you feel that you are in danger, call the police and give the 911 dispatcher the offending driver’s car license number. If the rager follows you off the freeway, do not under any circumstances engage in a conversation with him through an open window or get out of your car. If you know of a police station in the vicinity, drive directly there as you are calling 911. Don’t minimize the situation, and definitely file a police report. The offender’s car can be traced by his car’s license number.
If You Observe Road Rage:
If you see an escalating road rage situation, call 911 and report it. You are doing the other drivers on the road a lifesaving service.
The sad part about road rage is that it usually has very little to do with what has happened on the road. It usually is the last straw in a long list of frustrations.
Don’t allow yourself to become so angry on the road that you physically or emotionally injure yourself or another person. This kind of rage simply isn’t worth its potential outcome.