We hear about it far too much -- violence on our roadways.
It involves wrecks, punches and even guns. They're all classic examples of road rage, or drivers who can't keep their cool behind the wheel. Some drivers have been sentenced to time in jail because of it.
It's more common than you might think. One survey of 500 people concludes that 90 percent of drivers had observed road rage on our streets or they had been a victim of it themselves. According to US News, there were nearly 220 murders and another 12,000 injuries over seven years because of road rage in the '90s. In these cases, vehicles and firearms were most frequently used as weapons. And the reasoning for these incidents were trivial, including reactions to horn-blowing, fights over parking spots and the annoyance of slow drivers.
Our Los Angeles accident attorneys understand that road rage is one of the more serious incidents that take place on our roadways, but there are more subtle versions of driver anger that can produce some of the same results. Some of the dangerous maneuvers that drivers engage in is shouting at other drivers, giving vulgar gestures, illegally passing vehicles, changing lanes erratically and unnecessarily as well as tailgating. All of these acts can take a quick turn and can wind up in physical assault or another dangerous act of violence.
"Road rage is driving under the influence of impaired emotions," says Leon James, traffic psychologist at the University of Hawaii. "It's triggered by mental assumptions we're making about other drivers."
You might think you're too calm to ever engage in road rage, but you'd be wrong. Everyone is susceptible to road rage. For some, believe it or not, it happens during almost every car ride.
According to experts, road rage isn't only dangerous, it's unhealthy! When you engage in road rage habits, your heart rate and your blood pressure increase and your body produces stress hormones. If you're getting into this type of behavior every day, then your risks for experiencing chronic stress and other similar conditions skyrocket. Conditions like this can hamper your body's immune system, cause severe headaches, infertility, rapid heartbeat and even death.
Tips To Avoid Road Rage:
-Look after yourself. Make sure you're getting enough rest, you're eating a well-balanced diet, etc.
-Leave earlier. Make sure you're not pushed for time so that you can avoid rushing and anxiety.
-Take the time to calm down. If you get a little agitated behind the wheel, pull to the side and take a moment.
-Take your mind off of the anger. Think of funny and positive things. You can even try singing. Just do something that will help to defuse your angry emotions.
-Remember that there are no winners. Driving is not a contest. Remember that there are losers though, those who get into trouble and those who get into accidents.
If your or a family member has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (800) 872-5925.
How to Control Road Rage, by Angela Haupt, US News
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Car Accidents in Los Angeles More Likely with Alarming Increase in Fatalities, California Injury Lawyers, August 1, 2012