Hey, What's the Hurry?

May 6, 2011

Are your drivers potential targets of road rage? Road rage is becoming a commonplace incident on our streets and highways. Business drivers, whether sales people, service technicians, or delivery drivers have an increasing likelihood of witnessing, or being a part of, a road rage incident.

What is "Road Rage"?
It is simply an irrational display of emotions while operating a vehicle. Road rage can take a number of forms, from verbal rage (yelling, swearing, gesturing, honking, or insulting) to quiet rage (complaining, rushing, competing, or resisting) to extremely aggressive driving (cutting off, blocking, chasing, fighting, or shooting). Whatever form it takes, it is dangerous for anyone in the path of the enraged driver.

The most serious road rage is when drivers "acts out" violently and endangers others. If they fail to control their emotions, enraged drivers may act out of intentional malice versus negligence. This is generally considered a criminal offense and is different from aggressive driving (such as improper lane changes or speeding), which is a less serious moving violation offense.

The frustration of congested driving conditions often plays a major role in the driver's emotions. Drivers should manage their own anger and responses to other drivers. The best way to avoid being the target of an aggressive driver is to practice basic traffic courtesy. Each of us must pay more attention to our own level of emotion. Above all, we should not allow ourselves to be swept up in the emotions of the moment if another driver acts aggressively toward us. It is best to move aside and let the enraged driver ease out of the picture.

U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers these tips to help you on your journey if confronted with aggressive drivers:
Get Out of the Way. First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of their way.
Put Your Pride Aside. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
Avoid Eye Contact. Eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
Avoid Gestures. Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
Report Serious Aggressive Driving. You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.

Educating your drivers about road rage helps keep them safe behind the wheel.

This article provided courtesy of Federated Mutual Insurance Company, your association’s recommended insurer.  This publication is intended to provide general recommendations regarding risk prevention.  It is not intended to include all steps or processes necessary to adequately protect you, your business or your customers. You should always consult your personal attorney and insurance professional for advice unique to you and your business.  ©Copyright 2010 Federated Mutual Insurance Company, All Rights Reserved. 

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