food, high-speed Internet and fast pace driving -- society
is in a rush
By Andy Beck
April 4, 2006 | Many people are in a hurry and some
say they don't think there is time to slow down and
This may be due to the self-imposed desire to maintain
a competitive edge over their perceived competition
or because of competing demands on people's daily schedules.
Whatever the reasons, attitudes like these can spill
over to those off us on the road in a dangerous situation.
Our communities are designed and structured in such
a way that it's almost always necessary for us to have
a vehicle to get around. Without a vehicle, it can be
hard to function on a normal basis.
When we combine this with our society becoming more
used to instant communications, the problem becomes
bigger. We are always under increased time and work
pressures. Some of us continue working while behind
the wheel, using cell phones to call or text message.
This is the way things are going and it is getting crazy
out there. Driving is a full time job. But too many
of us are using it as time to get other stuff done.
Drivers are becoming more aggressive then ever. According
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
"Some drivers see the traffic ahead of them as an obstacle
to overcome at any cost."
„I get super frustrated with all the traffic and slow
drivers out there,‰ said Meg Hess, a senior in Public
Relations, "it drives me nuts."
Department of Transportation (IDOT) said there is
no national definition for the term road rage. However,
it's commonly defined as a societal condition where
motorists lose their temper in reaction to a traffic
disturbance. In most cases, the traffic situations encountered
are typical of today's normal driving conditions and
higher traffic volumes. One of the other reasons they
have sited is aggressive driving.
Aggressive driving refers to an angry motorist attempting
to intentionally injure or kill another driver because
of a traffic dispute. An aggressive driver reacts negatively
and uses their vehicles to retaliate by making sudden,
threatening maneuvers. Some are provoked by the actions
of another driver; others are set off by roadway congestion.
But, most are caused by the drivers' own moods and reactions
when they get behind the wheel.
Lindy Phippen, a senior majoring in public relations,
said "it's outrageous" that people are so sensitive
and they "need to get over it."
Drivers who are aggressive cross all age, race, socioeconomic
and gender lines. Even the most easy going individual
can blow their top behind the wheel. These folks may
only get pissed off when they're on the road. IDOT said,
"Persons who are characteristically cynics, rude, angry
or aggressive are prone to get angry more often. Those
persons are "raging" at home, at work and on the road."
Some common irritants listed by the IDOT that may cause
road rage are:
Tailgating to pressure a driver to go faster or
get out of the way.
Flashing lights in order to signal persons to
move to another lane.
Changing lanes without signaling.
Blasting the horn.
Frequently changing lanes by weaving back and
Racing to beat a yellow light that's about to
Traveling in the passing or left lane at a slower
speed, making it impossible for others to pass.
Driving with the high beams on behind another
vehicle or toward oncoming traffic.
Cutting people off.
Slowing down after passing someone.
Not making a right turn in the right-hand turn
Not reacting quickly after the red light turns
If you get involved in a road rage incident there
are a few things that you can do to protect yourself
in the car. Shoot the other person with a gun. Okay
if you took that one seriously then you need therapy.
Do not respond with an angry gesture or action. Keep
Sign in the car and use it when needed. According
to awesome library, "In a car, only one method is effective
in conveying an apology: A sign. We have found that
it is very effective in warding off anger. In fact,
many drivers actually smile when we raise a Sorry Sign
to them after we have accidentally done something wrong.
Keep a sign in the map holder on the driver's door and
the passenger's door. It could also be kept under the
sun visor if it is fastened with a clip or rubber band
so that it doesn't hit you in the face when the visor
Road rage can happen because you cut in front of another
driver, or reasons that were not intentional. An apology
is key in reversing the process. Sometimes angry drivers
will drop the matter if the other driver acknowledged
they made a mistake. If they don't, road rangers will
teach the careless driver a lesson, one they may not
live to regret.
According to my dear old Dad, "He who drives away,
lives to drive another day."