Road rage is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior.” The slightly disturbing part of that definition is the implication that the aggression or violence is “provoked” by an “irritating act.” The truth is that road rage is only one person’s fault – that is, the person that engages in it.
Regardless how word experts define it, road rage is, needless to say, completely preventable. A driver should have complete control over his or her own actions. Small irritations should never escalate to violence. We urge San Diegans to think twice about getting angry behind the wheel; keep your emotions in check and keep tabs on your escalating patience. You may prevent the next San Diego car accident.
Our advice follows on the heels of a wrongful death case that resulted out of road rage, making headlines across the nation as a completely brutal and unnecessary act of violence.
According to CNN (2/16/2015), the road rage incident occurred just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada after a teenage boy became irate when a middle-aged female driver and her passenger daughter honked their horn as he was allegedly speeding by their vehicle. Enraged, the 19-year old boy followed the woman and her daughter to her home where gunfire broke out. Although details remain unclear, it appears the woman’s son became entangled in the road rage incident when gunfire was exchanged between him and the alleged assailant at some point in the altercation. Tragically, the woman was fatally wounded in the crossfire.
SAN DIEGO ROAD RAGE ACCIDENTS: THEY’RE COMPLETELY PREVENTABLE!
It goes without saying that all road rage car accidents are completely preventable. It’s up to you and only you to control your behavior behind the wheel. And no one else can be blamed for the way you choose to act when driving on San Diego roadways.
Consider this scenario as provided by the American Psychological Association:
Someone cuts you off while you’re driving on the highway or steals the parking space you’ve been patiently waiting for. Is your first instinct to (a) take a deep breath and move on; (b) honk and then move on; or (c) repeatedly honk, yell out and pound your fists against your steering wheel, wondering how the other person even got a driver’s license in the first place?
According to the American Psychological Association, those who may react in scenario “C” are concerning – and also defined as “high-anger drivers.” These drivers are thought to lead stressful lives in general in addition to becoming frequently angry due to other triggers throughout their day. Thankfully, the APA notes that relaxation therapy and self-monitoring can go miles – literally! – in relieving road rage. Here’s what you can do if you’re prone to getting needlessly angry from behind the wheel.
LISTEN TO CALMING MUSIC
Save the party tunes and hard rock for a night out or a big celebration; keep to relaxing music for a more peaceful ride. Try classical, jazz or even new age and tribal tunes (think spa music). Set the stage for a serene commute!
GO TO YOUR HAPPY PLACE
OK, so we’ve all heard about our so-called “happy place” – or the one person, place or thing that makes us feel good inside when we think of it. When you get mad on the road, try to think of that special something that makes you smile. Have kids? Try to think of their cutest moments where you can’t help but laugh out loud. Have a dog? Think about their wagging tail and perpetual happiness. Love your significant other? Think of their smile and their wonderful presence. The point is to simply get to a place where you mentally deflect from the roadway triggers that cause you to react in a negative way.
REACT – BUT CONTROL IT
If you do get angry at a roadway situation, slowly take a deep breath and let it out fully. Then, repeat. Try to relax your mind and body when taking each breath and let your mind move on to other things: think about the day ahead, errands you need to run, or weekend plans. Of course, combine that with your happy place and you’ll find it is easier to move on from what just occurred on the roadway.
WHEN YOU SEE DANGEROUS DRIVING, CALL 9-11
It’s one thing to have road rage and another thing altogether to become worried or upset at the sight of dangerous, reckless driving. If you see another driver’s bad behavior or if you witness road rage, pull over to a safe place and call 9-11 as soon as possible.
ROAD RAGE CAR ACCIDENTS IN SAN DIEGO
If you have been injured in a car accident and you suspect the other person was acting out of road rage, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call us today for a FREE consultation: 1-858-551-2090 and speak to a San Diego car accident lawyer today to understand and preserve your legal rights.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines