Tom is driving to work on an interstate highway when the car behind tailgates him and honks its horn. This annoys Tom, so he makes an obscene gesture and deliberately slows down. The other driver responds by passing Tom while blaring his horn. The driver accelerates down the highway with Tom in pursuit and before long, both are racing at speeds of over 100 mph when the traffic ahead suddenly slows down.
Tom fails to react in time and crashes into a slow-moving car. This may seem like an unlikely scenario, but for people who tend to get hot under the collar, this could be in their future if they aren’t careful.
Road rage starts small with obscene gestures or use of the horn to express anger. Every time a person gives in to his anger, he reinforces his road rage habit. Over time, the rage escalates from gestures and honking to taking actions with his car. Once the person starts to use their car as an instrument to express rage, the stage is set to cause injury or even death to himself and other motorists and pedestrians. Extreme acts of road rage often happen when two equally aggressive drivers meet on the road and each refuses to back down.
Road rage triggers adrenaline, which suppresses the reasoning centers of the brain. When this happens, the motorist is driving with impaired judgment. Besides harm to himself and others, the consequences of road rage are:
- The motorist may be required to take an anger management course for a minor offense.
- A more serious offense can result in imprisonment for a limited time and/or a fine.
- The penalty for manslaughter or intentional injury can be lifetime imprisonment.
- Insurance rates will increase.
- The insurer may not fully pay or pay nothing for damages, because of limited coverage for acts of road rage.
- The insurer may not renew the motorist’s policy.
- The incident on the person’s driving record will cause new insurers to charge a higher premium rate.
There are a number of techniques for avoiding road rage. These include relaxation methods, listening to music, changing the commute route, changing the time of commute, avoiding annoying driving habits that enrage others and seeking professional help. When road rage causes harm, it’s tragic for all involved.
Has road rage gotten you into trouble? Call Breathe Easy Insurance at 866.822.7755 for more information on automobile insurance.