With so many cars in southern Californian roads these days, collisions are bound to happen. In fact, there are 253 million cars and trucks on U.S. roadways, according to the LA Times. Furthermore, the average American drives 13,476 miles per year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Unfortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a significant increase in traffic fatalities in 2015. Not only do accidents happen more on congested roads, road rage is also more frequent. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident or injured by a driver with road rage, contact an experienced California car accident attorney today for legal council.
Aggression Leads to Irrational Behavior
Think back on a time when you were beyond angry and into the realm of irrational fury. You probably were not thinking clearly and may have even had trouble getting words out that made sense. This occurs when we enter the fight or flight mode. Adrenaline and endorphins pump through us and blood is directed away from the brain and into the extremities so that our leg and arm muscles are ready to flee or fight. While this may have been necessary hundreds of thousands of years ago, it is not a useful aspect of our physiology when it comes to driving or conflict resolution during a heated conversation or debate. The next time you notice a driver behaving irrationally by speeding excessively, flashing their headlights, honking, swerving, or weaving in and out of lanes, it is best to try and remain calm. Take five deep breaths to clear your mind and relax, and let them drive off. By breathing in like this, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms you down and diminishes the physiological response of fight or flight.
Are You the Driver with Road Rage?
If you find yourself getting into conflicts on a regular basis, you may, in fact, be one of those people with road rage. It is difficult to admit fault, but in this case, when your and other’s lives are at stake, it is incredibly important to take a step back and analyze your own driving habits. If you have the following driving behaviors and perform them regularly, you may have road rage, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles:
- Excessive use of the horn
- Become frustrated with other, slower road users, including cyclists and pedestrians
- Flashing headlights
- Always changing lanes because the one you are in seems too slow
- Changing lanes quickly
- Not using turn signals
- Flippin off, yelling at, or using other hand signals to drivers
- Talking or texting on a cell phone
The National Institute of Health funded a study that found that between five to seven percent of drivers have Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). People with this disorder lose their tempers easily and overreact to minor situations. While this is not an excuse for driving irrationally, it should be noted that drivers with this disorder may benefit from counseling.
Angry Driving May Lead to an Accident
Road rage is dangerous and creates a hazard for all of those on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto wreck, contact an experienced California car accident attorney today at the law offices of The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers.