Road rage is a national problem. It is such a problem that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the AAA Foundation produced studies and handbooks to help drivers on the road understand the causes of road rage incidents and how to avoid them.
The AAA Foundation analyzed traffic statistics over the entire United States, including Virginia. Out of over 10,000 road rage incidents, there were 12,610 injuries and 218 murders caused by aggressive driving. When asked why the road rager committed such heinous acts that injured or killed their fellow drivers, it was often as simply as, “She wouldn’t let me pass” or “They kept tailgating me.”
We all know that, before we merge into another lane, we need to check that there is ample room, use the turn signal with enough time to let other drivers know our intention and then merge. Though, in practice, this does not always happen, even if just by accident. However, being cut off is one of the most common instigating moments that proceed a road rage incident. Always, merge safely.
Slow driving in the passing lane
We are all taught in drivers’ education that the far-left lane is for passing only. Indeed, many states and cities have laws that make it illegal to use the passing lane for anything other than passing. As such, it comes as no surprise that many road ragers point to slow driving in the passing lane as their “snap” moment. Let people pass, and only use the passing lane for passing.
Driving too close
Another common reason cited for a road rage snap moment is tailgating, or driving too close. At minimum, there should be about a one or two car-length gap between all cars. At no time, should we drive so close that we cannot even see the rear lights. All it takes is a break check or any unanticipated stopping or swerving to cause a serious, even deadly accident. And, in most, rear-end collisions, the rear impactor will be held at fault.
Do not engage
It may be tempting to speed around slow drivers, yell out the window at careless drivers or make some other rude gesture, but we do not know what will cause another person’s snap moment. Our goal should always be to get home safely, so remember, driving in Danville, Virginia, is not a game of winning or losing, it is a way to get from point a to b, safely.