Pretty much everyone has encountered at least one bad driver on the roads in their lifetime. If you live in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, then you have no doubt experienced many. However, that is not the issue that I want to address today. The issue is how you handle a situation in which somebody, intentionally or unintentionally, does something stupid on the road that inconveniences or even dangers you. The term road rage describes the angry, over the top reaction to simple actions such as somebody cutting you off in traffic. As somebody who can personally get very angry very quickly, I can tell you that rarely, if ever, have I lost my temper on the road. I have never honked the horn in anger, flipped somebody off, or yelled at another driver in my entire life, and I guarantee I’ve experienced situations in which the majority of people would have done one of those things. But I am here to tell you why that is stupid and a complete waste of time.
First off, let us take the accidental scenario. Another driver does something stupid by accident and takes responsibility for it. Last time I checked, none of us are perfect (with the exception of Tom Brady and Kate Upton), so just forgive the person and move on. Making a big deal out of a scenario, especially one which was unintentional, is not going to make the situation any better. You can only make the situation worse by getting angry about it. Now let us consider the scenario of the driver who intentionally cuts people off, speeds, etc. In this case, if the person thinks so highly of themselves that they have the right to drive like an idiot, chances are they are not going to take kindly to a rude gesture or obscenity. You can’t control the way these people drive. Best case scenario is they ignore you and worst case scenario is they take out a shotgun and blow your head off. Doesn’t exactly seem worth it to me.
If you are being tailgated by someone and you are going the proper speed, just ignore them. If you are going slow, then just speed up. Last time I checked everyone likes driving faster (except for old ladies). If it really bothers you that much just pull over to the side and let the person go by. In contrast, if you are driving behind a slow driver, it does no good to tailgate them most of the time. First off, the chances that you will be behind them for a long stretch are pretty rare, and secondly if you are in that big of a rush that someone driving 5 mph below the speed limit is going to make you late, then you should have left earlier in the first place.
The bottom line is that it is perfectly ok to be upset about any of these scenarios, but not ok to react in an angry and hateful manner. There is literally nothing you can do to make the situation any better by road raging about it. There are 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 55 seconds in the day that someone wasn’t cutting you off in traffic, focus on that instead of freaking out about one minor incident that happened on the road.
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