Maine Traffic Safety: Anger has no Place Behind the Wheel

Road Rage!sIt’s a serious problem on our streets and it’s overlooked by many.

According to a recent study of over 500 drivers, about 90 percent of them reported that they had either seen acts of road rage or were actually the victim of a road rage incident at least once in the last year.

In the ’90s, a seven-year study of the issue concluded that close to 220 people were murdered and another 12,000 people were injured because of road rage incidents. Firearms and vehicles were used as the main sources of weapons in these incidents. Aggressive driving may encompass many other behaviors, which can lead to road rage if left unchecked.According to US News, these incidents weren’t caused by any serious altercations in most cases. Many were the result of parking space disputes, slow drivers and even horn honking.

Our Bangor car accident attorneys note a 16-year-old girl from Maine was shot in the arm as she was riding with her family through Massachusetts. According to FOX News, the young passenger was heading down Interstate 495 with her family when a dispute involving two cars ended when she took a bullet in the arm.

“Evidence suggests this was a road rage incident between the driver of the car the girl was in and the other car,” State Police spokesman David Procopio.

Road rage oftentimes starts out with some dangerous driving habits. It can start with tailgating, with speeding, with changing lanes erratically, with horn honking and even with gestures to other drivers. It’s when it takes that next step that it turns from aggressive driving into road rage. Road rage is preventable, yet still takes the lives of thousands each and every year. The key to staying safe is staying cool behind the wheel!

“Road rage is driving under the influence of impaired emotions,” says Leon James traffic psychologist at the University of Hawaii.

For some drivers, it happens during each and every car ride. It’s less frequent for other drivers. But the bottom line is that it can happen to anyone. Road rage is not only dangerous when talking in terms of accidents, but it’s also unhealthy. It increases your heart rate, produces stress hormones, increases blood pressure and can even contribute to chronic stress.

You’re urged to keep calm behind the wheel. Always allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Keep snacks in the car too, because hunger can make you irritable. Get plenty of sleep and remember that we’re all in this together!sIf you encounter an enraged driver, do your best to steer clear of them. You never want to instigate a fight with another driver. If you feel threatened, call the local authorities and let them come deal with it. Never step in and take matters into your own hand.

Contact Peter Thompson & Associates if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident. Call 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential appointment to speak to a lawyer about your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Pedestrian Fatalities Up Despite Overall Decline in Traffic Deaths, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, August 16, 2012

Bangor Car Accidents: Take the Pledge Not to Text and Drive, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, August 10, 2012

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