Watch out for road rage during the holiday season

Holiday travel is one of the most frustrating times people deal with each year. There is a massive increase in the number of people on the roads, and travel can be extremely slow. Congested roads add to the delays, and traffic jams can be common in cities and on highways.

For the most part, people take these issues in stride, but there is one thing that you have to watch out for: road rage. Road rage can turn a slow drive into a terrifying drive as a driver tries to weave in and out of lanes, rides too closely to you to stop safely if you have to slow down or behaves in other reckless ways.

What causes road rage?

Road rage is sometimes a result of a person going through stress in other parts of their life. For example, someone rushing to get home to a sick child might be aggressive and angry on the roads. Someone who is dealing with grief or loss might be more aggressive on the roads than usual. It’s not acceptable behavior, but it does usually have an explanation.

Sometimes, road rage is caused by your actions

It’s important to note that the things you’re doing behind the wheel could enrage others. For example, if you’re distracted and are slowing and speeding up randomly, a driver might get angry with you. If you keep your high beams on and make it hard for others to see, that could result in road rage, too. Switching lanes without a turn signal and cutting others off in traffic can also lead to road-rage incidents.

What are some signs that a person has road rage?

Some signs of road rage include:

  • Trying to speed through yellow lights to avoid red lights in a hurry
  • Regularly driving over the speed limit
  • Honking often
  • Using obscene gestures to communicate with other drivers
  • Tailgating other drivers when they’re moving too slowly

These behaviors are threatening to other drivers and could even cause accidents.

Road rage is a serious problem, and it can cause crashes, injuries and deaths. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that around 66% of those killed in traffic collisions were victims of aggressive driving behaviors, while 12,610 injuries and 218 murders were linked to road rage.

If you see someone exhibiting signs of road rage, do your best to get out of their way. You can call the police and ask them to stop the driver if you get the license plate number. If you’re hit, stay at the scene and wait for help to arrive.