Thursday, February 25, 2010

Road Rage

Contributed by Sandy Paquette, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council
When I was young, my family and I would get in our car and go for a long Sunday drive. Those Sunday escapes were fun and provided time for the family to wind down from the busy week.

Nowadays driving has become a stressful and dangerous task. There are so many variables that can’t be predicted like traffic accidents, road work and weather conditions and what about all those other drivers on the road whom are impatient or inattentive. They drive thorough red lights, roll through stop signs, block the intersections, speed and don’t use their signals when turning or changing lanes. A what about those power struggles such as, preventing me from moving over into their lane or merging into traffic, use gestures or obscene language to humiliate or threaten me, tailgating, cutting me off, stopping short without warning and racing at dangerous speeds to get ahead of each other.

These driving behaviors contribute to the already stressful day I was having. So what do I do? Do I assume that the other driver is deliberately driving recklessly and I must punish them by honking my horn, or flash my high beams or use one of my many creative hand gestures? Engaging in the same practices can escalate the situation and may cause it to become downright violent. More than likely we all have either seen or heard about someone being involved in a road rage circumstance that may have been injured or killed.

For these reasons we must try to change how we these handle these situations. We can reduce the stress, by leaving plenty of time for the trip, try to get enough rest and plan your route, check the web for any road work projects and try to avoid them, be ready for long delays in traffic by having water and snacks, this helps reduce anxiety.

Thanks for letting me vent.

ESC is hosting a Traffic Safety Conference on May 20, 2009 in Burien, WA. Anyone interested in raodway or driving safety is encourage to attend this 1-+day dynamic event. For more information or to register visit our Traffic Conference webpage.

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