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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

Marine Corps Installations West fights road rage

By Cpl. Brianna Turner | | August 27, 2013


“Road rage" is a response to what drivers observe as poor, inconsiderate or dangerous driving.

When drivers give in to their rage, they run the risk of becoming exactly what it is that has caused them to become so enraged, as well as putting their life and the lives of others in danger. Anger might cause a driver to drive aggressively and dangerously as they attempt to cutoff or tailgate whoever has offended them. Even if they do not take action, their preoccupation with anger will make them less aware of their own driving.

People who drive for a living or have very long commutes tend to be more likely to suffer from road rage. Oftentimes, their hours spent on the road give them a false sense of superiority. In their mind, everyone else on the road is a poor driver and the smallest offense can send them into a fit of rage.

If a driver knows they are prone to road rage, there are a few things they can do to help prevent a dangerous situation:

• Stay off the road: Try to avoid driving during a particularly bad mood. If not driving is impossible, take a few minutes to calm yourself down before driving.

• Turn off the radio: Do not listen to angry music while driving. Avoid listening to any type of music that might accelerate heart rate and cause aggressive driving.

• Go off the beaten path: Try to avoid driving in heavily trafficked areas or during peak driving hours.

• “Be the bigger man or woman”: Stooping to their level will only make the risk of accidents higher.

• Hand over the wheel: If at all possible, let someone else drive. Ironically enough, people with road rage usually refuse to let anyone else have the wheel, because they feel they are superior drivers and want to be in control of the situation.

• Keep some perspective: It can't be denied that there are many poor, aggressive, inconsiderate, careless and dangerous drivers on the road at any given place and time. However, what many road ragers view as personal offenses are often really accidents or the result of a careless or even oblivious driver.

• Drive defensively: Never assume that someone will use their turn-signal or follow at the appropriate range.

If drivers notice someone on the road that is clearly a hazard to others they should get their license plate number and report it to the police. This might be difficult to do while you're driving, so don't attempt to do so if it will be too much of a distraction. Have a passenger do it if at all possible.

For more tips visit: http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil/