Road Rage
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Road Rage

I always find it fascinating to meet kind and polite individuals who are so proper – until they get behind the wheel of a vehicle!  Then, within minutes, they become angry individuals with foul language who critique everything that comes into their view.


Have you ever considered the reasons why this might happen:


  1. Fear – Emotions always arrive in tandem. Usually, anger is fueled by the underlying emotion of fear.  When people are afraid of accidents or being disrespected, a common reaction is to go into “fight” mode.  This appears in road rage as yelling, honking, or giving other drivers the finger.
  2. Displaced anger – There are some people who are just angry – about their family, friends, job, the weather, or just about anything. When they get into the vehicle, they don’t really need to be triggered as they are already in a state of rage.
  3. Lack of control – As much as we might want to stop other drivers from making illegal or risky choices, we have to realize that we don’t have control over them. Screaming at someone who is in the middle of a dangerous act will never change them or the outcome.  In fact, this might even make the situation worse because you distracted them.
  4. Arrogance - Just because you have passed Driver Education courses and have a perfect driving record, doesn’t mean that you are in charge of judging everyone else. Be careful as there is an old adage that states “Pride goeth before a fall”.
  5. Projection – Assuming that everyone is as incompetent or dangerous as some other driver you encountered in the past isn’t fair or accurate. You cannot forecast what will happen or expect everyone else who is on the road to be a bad driver.
  6. Lack of planning – If you know exactly how long it will take to go from one place to the other without allowing for any leeway, you can pretty much expect to be late. Construction, traffic jams and even breakdowns need to be considered as possible encounters during the planning stage.  Being angry because you are late for an appointment is not the fault of everyone else, especially when you didn’t account for delays.
  7. Stress – Not getting enough sleep, drinking too much caffeine, and holding onto unresolved issues can leave you jumpy and a poor candidate to be driving a vehicle. You might not like the way others are driving but, in fact, you are likely the higher risk if you are honest.
  8. Perspective – This isn’t 1950 and the speed limit isn’t 40 miles per hour. Our population is growing and there are more vehicles than ever before.  Adjust to the changes and don’t just yearn for “the good old days”.
  9. Substance use – Unfortunately, people who are drinking and/or using drugs do get behind the wheel even though it is illegal and unwise.
  10. Fact – There are people who probably shouldn’t be driving because they are distracted, high, ignorant of safety techniques or just plain “showoffs” who don’t understand consequences.




I treat driving and life the same.  Letting other people’s behaviours affect me negatively, means that they are now in charge of my emotions instead of me being in control.  I just focus on the fact that I am responsible for planning my route, using defensive driving techniques and ensuring that I am doing the things that are safe for me and those around me.  I can’t change the way that other people drive or live and thinking too long about their choices or actions seems like such a waste of time.


This week, focus on your own choices and actions.


Remember life is a series of choices – make good ones!

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