Have you seen any road rage incidents over the past year? ZenduIT saw several road rage incidents through our ZenduCAM program over the past year.
One of our clients had an incident recently. A driver got in an argument with a pedestrian and the pedestrian approached the vehicle. After the driver told the pedestrian that he was recording the incident, the pedestrian made an obscene gesture and walked away.
Thankfully in this case, the incident did not escalate and we were all able to have a good laugh about it afterwards. However, road rage incidents are scary and rather common occurrences.
According to a study, 80% of drivers had intense rage on the road at least once over the past year. Furthermore, these road rage incidents can result in injury or even death.
What causes road rage incidents?
I’m a math person so I view road rage incidents as a formula. Road rage incidents are the sum of stress and driving habits.
The first ingredient is stress. Rational people usually don’t decide to go on the road and make obscene gestures to other drivers. Instead, they are usually inspired by several reasons:
- Life events. Sometimes, people are already in a bad mood. Maybe they just had an argument with a spouse or had a bad day at work? Humans are emotional creatures and negative life events distract people from acting normally.
- Urgency. Other times, people are short on time and rush on the road. For instance, I have a friend who is strict on her schedule. She will do everything in her power to get to a certain spot at a certain time.
- Personality. Lastly, some people get stressed because they have irrational thoughts about their driving. For example, some people feel that they are better than others on the road and compete against other drivers.
The second ingredient is driving habits. Driving habits, like sparks, ignite stressed drivers into road rage. What are some common annoying road rage habits?
According to a study, some of the most common driving related habits include drivers who tailgate, fail to signal, or drive slowly. Also, some sparks might not be driving-related. For example, some road ragers are sparked by drivers who play loud music, forget to say thank you, or throw litter.
How to Protect Thyself?
Here are our top 3 tips to protect thyself from road ragers.
Don’t Escalate the Rage
Our most important tip is to avoid escalating rage. Remember, road ragers are not rationally thinking and will likely over-react to any escalation. We encourage drivers to avoid honking, talking back, or approaching the road rager.
Say Something Good
Sometimes, you might be at fault in a road rage incident. Another strategy is to say sorry to the other driver. Apologies defuse the situation and remind a road rager that all humans make mistakes.
Get Help When Needed
Finally, drivers should use their resources. Just like the driver earlier this blog, some people install dashcams to record road ragers and deter violence. If needed, drivers can contact police and show their dashcam footage to drivers.