How to deal with road rage

Road Rage Video - Tips To Avoid Road Rage While Driving

Road rage way back when by Julien Bryan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Road Rage - Then
Road Rage anger Today by lesterp4 via morgueFiles free photo license
Road Rage - Now

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Road rage, car accidents, truck accidents, it's enough to make anyone mad!

Who Gets Angry Over Bad Driving Skills?

Intermittent Explosive Disorder:

Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation. Road rage, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, or other temper tantrums may be signs of intermittent explosive disorder.

A new study suggests that road rage may be a medical issue. The National Institute of Health studied approximately 10,000 drivers and found that Intermittent Explosive Disorder could be diagnosed in about 5% to 7% of those participating in the study.

Losing your temper and having explosive rage can start in a teenager's early life. Those with Intermittent Explosive Disorder become angry very quickly and their response to tense situations is over and beyond that of normal anger. A frequent result of explosive anger is physical abuse and property damage.

No one can predict how small annoyances can become major outbursts in some people. The smallest thing can trigger an unintentional response. The best way to deal with intermittent explosive disorder in strangers is to avoid the situation altogether.

NEVER confront anyone who appears to be angry over a small thing that has happened! The best thing to do is to get away from that person as quickly and as safely as possible.

If you are someone with this disorder or know someone with this disorder, there is treatment available. Medication, psychotherapy, and cognitive behavior skills can help a person control rages.

How to Avoid Common Road Rage Behaviors:

Driving Behavior:

Why it is bad:

What to do to avoid trouble


Aggressive and Uncontrolled

Move to another lane safely and let the tailgater go by.

Honking Horn

May startle people into making uncontrolled moves

Stay alert and watch all the traffic around you for issues

Headlight Flashing

Very aggressive, but may be a call for help

Pull over if safe to do so and allow the driver to pass. If it is an aggressive driver trying to bully you, drive to a crowded place or a police station before pulling over.

Rapid Lane Changes

Aggressive and the driver feels as though he/she owns the road

Try to safely get out of the way and allow that driver to pass you.

Rude Gestures

Rudeness and yelling can quickly get out of hand

Get out of the area as soon and as safely as possible. Never reply with gestures or yelling. Just go somewhere safe.

Cell Phone Use

Distracted driving causes accidents

Just don't answer the phone while driving. Find a safe place and call or text back when your car is not moving.


Aggressive and disregard for the rules of the road

Get out of the way of all speeders when safe to do so. Do not speed to keep up or get ahead of them.

Going Too Slow

This is seen as a sign of weakness and interference in the progress of traffic

If you must drive slow, do so only when it is safe to do so and try to stay out of the way of regular traffic.

Failing to Signal

Rude and causes distracted driving

Stay alert for traffic that turns unexpectedly or without signalling. Watch out for other drivers!

Hogging Lanes

Drifting into another lane is a sign of impairment

If a driver appears impaired, call 911 and report the driver.

Sudden Braking

Some road ragers do this on purpose, some just can't control their vehicles

This type of behavior is highly dangerous and should be reported to police if you think it is being done on purpose. A car can be a weapon. Watch out for ALL sudden moves!

What to do if you are in a road rage situation!

Road rage is on the rise, especially in Austin, Texas and on I-35. We have had many reports of rock throwing incidents from overpasses. Several people have been hurt. There are more and more drivers on the road today, and in some states, drivers are even allowed to carry guns. If you are the victim of road rage, here are some tips that may help:

  1. Remain in your car! Do not get out or allow access for someone to get in. If you cannot drive away safely, immediately call the police, roll up your windows and lock your doors!
  2. Try to remain calm and do not respond with anger or rage. Do not make gestures, even "normal" ones. Remain still and non-aggressive. Don't look them in the eyes. Pretend they are a dog with rabies and try to protect yourself.
  3. Try to apologize to the person showing rage, even if it is not your fault. Just saying, "I'm sorry" may diffuse the situation. But do not yell or reach into your purse or jacket. Keep your hands in plain sight.

Remember your car and all of the cars around you are potential weapons of destruction. Be responsible and drive safely. Keep your focus on the road and on all of the drivers around you.

Be prepared for the unexpected. Do not eat, drink, use a cell phone or computer in your car. Don't put on makeup or shave. Don't even comb or brush your hair. Don't let passengers distract you. This is especially true for teenage drivers.

Take a defensive driving course even if you don't need one. Be sure to sign up for one if you are issued a ticket for any reason.

Learn to be a safe and courteous driver and smile! You may prevent a road rage incident.

Be a Safe and Courteous Driver!

Be a safe driver by Sheron2482 via morgueFiles free photo license

The top causes of car accidents:

  • Rude people using hand gestures
  • Following too close
  • Deliberate aggression
  • Speeding
  • Not using the turn signals on your car or truck
  • Cutting people off in traffic
  • Honking horns
  • Driving too slow
  • Blasting music in traffic
  • Not paying attention (eating, drinking, reading, cell phone use, other)
  • Drivers who think they own the road
  • Impaired drivers (alcohol, drugs, uncontrolled anger)
  • Inexperienced drivers

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