Recent studies have shown that fully one third of road rage incidents involve guns, either defensively or offensively. It matters little here, because either way is gonna hurt you. In the US, there are, on average, 30 murders each year as a result of a road rage inspired incident. There are estimated to be an additional 12,600 reportable injuries annually attributed to rage. It is also estimated that as many as two thirds of all fatal accidents involve aggressive driving, as defined above. Not surprisingly, teenage males lead in the rage statistics but few of us are totally immune. Screaming at another motorist through your steering wheel is a symptom of our vulnerability and a prominent middle finger the ultimate indication of our displeasure. Screaming will address the adrenaline rush, the middle finger will get you shot or run off the road. Hear me out here.
A refresher on the indications of road rage is hardly needed for my readers. It is simple really, any movement made in traffic contrary to existing traffic law qualifies you as a slob driver or rage seized menace. Traffic enforcement is down in America. Covid has taken it’s toll with fewer officers during the pandemic willing to share space and air with folks who might be afflicted. Understandable. This phenomenon has also resulted in a newer generation of drivers who have little fear of police interference in their quest for notoriety. Statistics suggest that 2 out of every 3 fatal accidents involve rage or aggressive driving. Amazingly, 2% of road rage incidents result in one of the drivers attempting to run the other off the road.
Another contributing factor to road rage is the horn. Who hasn’t sat through a light change behind a possessed idiot feverishly manipulating their cell phone? When you are in that position, do you offer a courtesy beep on the horn or do you smash the horn button flat until your battery dies? Where you are when you offer the horn matters. In Dallas or St. Louis there is a certain horn etiquette that is expected and followed. I suspect the etiquette is far different in Portland or New York. Too long on a horn will certainly elicit an un-holstered middle finger accompanied by the wire to your horn being wrapped around your throat. You could, as an alternative, be shot or your car set on fire.
Okay, here is my point. Rethink your aggressive driving tendencies. There are about 393 million firearms in America, every car has a horn and we learn at the age of five what the middle finger means. Listen to this admonition from a retired traffic cop; courtesy taps are okay, the driver next to you may be an armed sociopath, and keep the damned finger holstered and in your lap. Learn to scream without moving your lips and have a nice calming cocktail when you hit the door at home. It takes two of you to create a rage incident, and neither one of you will remember it two days later.
When you get right down to it, road rage is really stupid…..on either side of the transgression. Vehicles cost a lot and all lives matter!
Have a great week!