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Road Rage: How To Avoid Becoming A Victim

Do you ever feel like the dad inthe Volvo television commercial racing from his son's swim meet to hisdaughter's soccer game? Or feel like the mother who is driving thestretch van to and from her daughter's soccer game with all 18 of herteammates in the back?
Do you occasionally feellike your head is going to explode when you are racing from one eventto the next? Summer brings additional challenges. Weatherconditions can be as tricky (lightning, hail, wind and summer cloudbursts).Driving to the additional games, practices and lessons on top of all ofthe other summer activities with extra hot and cranky kids can make youfeel like screaming, especially on a hot summer day.
It doesn't matter whetheryou're racing against the clock to get to a game or practice, with thecar full of kids, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the 95-degreeheat. Emotions can get the best of us. What we do with our anger andhow we deal with other drivers will make all the difference in how weact once we get to the event we are going to and whether we get theresafely.
Road Rage Claims Lives
Road rage and "aggressivedriving" claims thousands of lives a year. The National HighwayTransportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that aggressivedriving has been responsible for 2.28 million crashes and 27,935traffic fatalities in the past five years. Interactions that might haveinvolved non-violent gestures a few years back now may involve golfclubs or weapons. Remember, the deadliest weapons of all are vehiclesthemselves.
How To Avoid Becoming A Road Rage Victim
A driver cuts wildly in and outof traffic, rides your back bumper, flashes lights and honks at you,cuts you off, yells and makes an obscene gesture. What should you dowhen you are the victim of someone else's aggressive driving and roadrage?

According to a publicinformation campaign created by Nissan North America and Dr. JerryDeffenbacher, here are some tips on dealing with road rage:

  • Take road rage seriously: You could be dealing with a volatile, unstable person with a gun, or a person who, at the slightest provocation, may ram your car or attack you. It pays to be cautious: Treat every situation as potentially dangerous and explosive.

  • Do not inflame the situation: The situation must be handled in a calm, safe manner that gets you away from the conflict. DO NOT make eye contact, make faces or gestures, yell, flash your lights, or honk your horn.

  • Do not be manipulated: It is natural for you not to want to be pushed around. However, reacting that way will only inflame the other person. Cool heads prevail in these situations. If other drivers want to get the best of you in dangerous and childish ways, let them have the road; you and your family will be the winner.

  • Disengage: Life is too valuable to let someone with road rage affect you. Do whatever you reasonably can to avoid the person, making it harder for them to assault you. Back away, focus on safe driving and disengage. Do not pull over or get out of your car.

  • Seek Help: If the situation merits, call for help. Do not hesitate to report the driver, providing as much information as possible. This may avoid a violent situation, and may eliminate other incidents of road rage.
Do you have a favorite tip to add to this list? Please  send to delench@momsteam.com
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