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5 Ways to Prevent Road Rage

5 Ways to Prevent Road Rage

The Lone Ranger rode across the Great Plains during the early days of the Wild West, enforcing law and order. His creed: "I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one...”                 

If those words were heeded today, we bet the term “road rage” would never have been coined in 1987 by a still-wild, west-coast radio station when reporting repeated incidents of gunplay on L.A. freeways. Since then, road rage has become increasingly dangerous: over a seven-year period, road rage was linked to 218 murders and 12,610 injuries. Here are a few tips to help you avoid it:

  1. Pay attention (no texting or putting on makeup!) to traffic flow and be considerate; 49 percent of road rage incidents are caused by a distracted or inattentive driver.
  2. Don’t speed or change lanes recklessly—signal! Always check your blind spot.
  3. Don’t honk your horn, flash your lights or make obscene gestures at other drivers to express your discontent.
  4. If someone cuts you off or misses moving through a light because they are texting, practice anger management. Try deep breathing and redirecting your thoughts to more pleasant topics.
  5. If enraging traffic is a daily occurrence, consider carpooling or public transportation.

Remember: road rage—assault or endangering other persons or property with a motor vehicle—is a criminal offense.

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

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