Road Rage

What is road rage? There are many different things that come to mind when a person
hears the term “road rage.” Road rage can range from as small as running a yellow light, all the
way down to chasing down a person, pulling out a 44 magnum, and sticking it in their mouth.
When a person experiences road rage, they are consumed with anger, usually towards another
person on the public roadway. Maybe the person cut them off with their car at an intersection,
or maybe they honked their horn at the wrong time. I know from experience that when a
person does something that seems to be wrong to you, when your on the road, it is not that hard
to become consumed with anger. The best technique for dealing with this problem is to just
calm down and think about what is going on. Take some deep breaths, and just think about
something nice, maybe pop some Bob Marley into the compact disk player. Now that this is
the nineties, there are all kinds of people on the roads today. The person that you decide to cut
off, or honk your horn at, could be a hardened criminal that had just escaped from the county
prison. It’s best to keep to yourself when you are on the road and to be as careful as you can,
try not to honk at people or cut them off whenever possible.
I hate it when people do not yield when they have a yield sign, and then they try to beat you and
just cut right in front of you. They have no respect as a driver, to just slow down and let you go
on by, they have to run out in front of you.

Many police departments are now starting to implement programs to try and curb road
rage. For example, in Dallas, TX, the police force has sent out six dark-blue unmarked
vehicles that will target drivers who show road rage symptoms. Some of those symptoms
include speeding, swerving, tailgating and other various issues, such as running red lights. The
police are confident in the fact that it will reduce traffic accidents. The Dallas police said that
between November and February there were about 540 fewer accidents in Dallas, than the
same time last year. The Dallas council members said that they were pleased with the success.
As of now the officers operating the six vehicles have issued 11,164 citations for violations since
the program began Oct.29. The blue Crown Victoria’s patrol the major freeways during
daylight hours, and target high accident sites. The unmarked cars are not allowed to chase
suspects and they are told to be patient with drivers who do not immediately pull over, cause
they are skeptical about being pulled over by an unmarked car. Even though all of these efforts
are being made, there is still more that can be done about the ever growing, road rage incidents.
The road rage incidents are not merely confined to the streets of the Dallas-Fort Worth
area, they also consume the other parts of the United States of America. In North Carolina, a
man was punched in the face by a defensive driving teacher who became enraged when the man
cut him off. He ordered his student to step on the gas and chase the car. In Colorado, one in
five drivers admitted to having succumbed to road rage in the last month either by running red
lights, yelling, or tailgating cars. And last but not least, in Wisconsin, two motorists trying to pull
into the same lane on a highway began speeding and making gestures at each other. One driver
rammed his car into the other, causing a serious accident. A study that USA Today performed
found a direct correlation between age and aggressive driving. The nation’s youngest drivers,
16-24, are in twenty-seven percent of all accidents, yet they cause 37 percent of all aggressive
driving accidents.

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The federal government is trying to stop this current fad from rising into a more serious
problem than it already is. They plan to spend more than ten million dollars over the next three
years to install high tech cameras in a number of communities so they can catch aggressive
drivers. If they have video evidence then they can win court convictions. Police in over twenty
one states have also launched campaigns to stop aggressive driving and road rage. In the state
of Maryland, aggressive drivers will only receive warnings and photos of their vehicle in action,
for now. In Miami, police will use a fleet of unmarked vehicles, including big trucks and
motorcycles, so that they can videotape aggressive drivers in action.

Some more evidence of road rage becoming a growing epidemic in our country today is
the fact that the cases are becoming more bizarre. In Colorado Springs, a 55 year old man
persuades a seventeen year old that was following him to close to pull over. Then the man
decides that rather than just yell at the teen, he will shoot him. Another example would be that
in Santa Cruz, a martial arts expert is pulled from his car by an elderly man angry that the other
man had passed him. The elderly man beat up the martial arts expert and took off. And in
Massachusetts, a driver flashes his high beams at a slow moving motorist in front of him. When
the two come to a stop, the slower driver leaves his car and shoots the would be passer with a

There have also been many surveys performed on this topic. The American Automobile
Association released a survey last year which reported that 37 percent of road rage drivers use
firearms against other drivers; 28 percent used other weapons; and 35 percent used their car to
ram another driver r car. Fifty five percent of road rage cases are committed by men, and 45
percent are committed by women.
Many reasons can be instigated as to why road rage is growing in numbers. One
reason is the fact that since 1987 the number of miles of US roads has increased by only 1
percent, but the total number of miles driven by Americans has j87mped by 35 percent. There
is a lot more driving being done on nearly the same amount of road as in 1987. Another cause
of road rage can be the fact that drivers are speeding more than ever. The number one reason
that causes all of the wrecks and the road rage problems, is driving to slow.
Milwaukee was the first city to receive a federal aggressive driving enforcement grant.
They won the race with 26 other cities. The important thing to do when developing a strategy
to curb road rage is to document the involvement of drugs and alcohol in road rage incidents
and to identify specific remedies within the criminal justice system to address the problem of
aggressive driving and to discourage it.

I dont think that the cities need to go as far as to put a video camera on just about every car, so
that if you just change a lane, they can say that you are an aggressive driver. I think that the
cities need to just back-up, take a look at the problem, and they will see that this is all the
media’s fault. Road rage doesn’t exist, the media has made it all up.

Here are some ways that you can calm yourself down if you are involved in a road rage
incident, or maybe some ways that you can prevent yourself from starting a road rage incident:
1. Commit yourself to obey all traffic signs and regulations. When you stop at a stop sign make
sure that it is a full stop, and not a running stop.

2. Remind yourself to drive regularly as if you are being videotaped on live TV broadcast with
the camera and microphone right in your car.

3. Keep alive the conviction that driver errors can be considered from a moral and spiritual
point of view. For example, Is breaking the speed limit immoral?
Some of these suggestions should be able to help the driver drive better and not be so
aggressive. Just keep these in mind the next time that you are on the road. They can help.

Then again, road rage can just be made up by the media. What do you think? All the
headlines in the papers say things like ” Road Warriors: Aggressive Drivers Turn Freeways Into
Free-For-All’s.” There is not any scientific evidence of more aggressive driving on our nation’s
roads. The truth is that fatality and accidents have been edging down. This “epidemic” is
nothing but a media invention, inspired primarily by a catchy alliteration: road rage. Most of the
support that says road rage is increasing are highly flawed survey’s commissioned by the
American Automobile Association from a fellow named Louis Mizell. He specializes in writing
books that scare the general public. Mizell gave AAA what it wanted which was a report
claiming that aggressive driving rose by about 60 percent from 90-96. But his database
comprised a pitifully small number of newspapers, police reports and insurance company
records that can be read in any number of ways.

During all of the years that Mizell researched, which was only six, he found 218 deaths
directly attributable to “road rage” during a time when 290,000 Americans died from vehicular
accidents. In short, Mizell’s study was worthless.

Road Rage was first coined in 1988. For a while, newspapers used the term no more
than a few times a year. But by last year it was used over 4,000 times; this year, the trend
suggests it will be used about 7,000 times.

From 1987-97, the number of deaths per million-vehicle-miles driven dropped by
almost one-third, and passenger car crashes fell by 40 percent. For both categories, these are
the lowest they have been since the government began keeping records. Therefore, America’s
roads are becoming safer by the year.

I think that road rage is merely just media mayhem. I dont think that there really is a road rage
problem. Aggressive drivers have always been around, that is why they have defensive driving,
it’s just now that we have started to notice them. The papers have coined a term that they like to
use because it draws people’s attention. Everyone that drives is worried about the imaginary
“road rage.”
According to many different studies, road rage can be either considered real, or just
something made up by the media. Road rage is scaring people and making them not even want
to drive on the road’s anymore, without the fear of being shot or ran off the road. The true
epidemic is ourselves, we are causing this by not building more roads for the many more drivers
that we have. Road rage has always been around, we are just now noticing it and making a big
deal of it. The best advice that I can give is to be careful and keep your eyes open. Maybe
eventually we can bring the road rage epidemic down.

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