Is Road Rage Affecting Me?
Updated January 01, 2019
Reviewer Laura Angers
You've probably heard of road rage before, but you may not recognize whether it's something you are experiencing. Many people see road rage on TV and assume that it's only road rage if someone is physically injured in an altercation. But road rage is the end of a spectrum of different behaviors,and it may not involve confronting the person that you're angry with at all. It's important to understand what road rage can be and just how it's going to make a difference in your life.
What Is Road Rage?
In general, road rage is any kind of violent anger that's a result of stress or frustration from driving. It happens when you find yourself getting exceedingly angry with another person as a result of something that happens when you're driving. Maybe someone cuts you off on the road or blocks you in or does something else that frustrates you. The average person may be somewhat frustrated by this type of behavior or even angry, but with road rage, there is something even more dangerous. That's because the violent behavior dramatically affects your life.
Behavior that qualifies as road rage has been defined as hitting someone else's vehicle, running someone off the road, engaging in a physical confrontation with another person, inciting others in the vehicle to engage in a physical confrontation with the other person or using any type of weapon to harm another driver or their vehicle. Any of these types of behavior can be extremely harmful to you and the other person. Being the perpetrator in a road rage incident or being the victim of this type of incident can potentially change your life.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
When it comes to the rest of the spectrum that we talked about, that's where aggressive driving comes in. With aggressive driving, you might find yourself scowling, mumbling under your breath or shaking your head at a driver who does something you don't like. You may find yourself yelling or screaming inside your vehicle (where they can't hear you) or flipping off another driver. At the far end of aggressive driving might be yelling or screaming at the other driver out the window (where they might hear you). But this type of driving falls short of actually getting out of the vehicle.
Aggressive driving may also include things like tailgating, cutting someone off, speeding, honking, flashing headlights or otherwise trying to distract or potentially endanger the other driver. These things may seem like they are less of a big deal and they may be less of a problem than full-fledged road rage it's still something serious. Just because you haven't engaged in full road rage doesn't mean that your aggressive driving couldn't lead another person to engage in road rage. It also doesn't mean that you won't engage in full road rage in the future.
Aggressive driving can lead to road rage in many instances. Someone who has engaged in aggressive driving frequently can easily slip into road rage before they even realize what's happening. This is why it's crucial that you get professional help as soon as you recognize that you are experiencing it. That way you'll be able to overcome the problem before it becomes something more serious. After all, you never want to be responsible for hurting someone else or getting someone you care about hurt, which can happen when you let road rage take over.
How Does Road Rage Affect Me?
Road rage can affect you in some different ways. For one thing, you could end up hurting someone else. If you react to a situation with rage, you could find yourself lashing out in a way that you would never imagine. In fact, most people who act on road rage can't believe that they did something so awful. That's why you need to watch for the warning signs and then you will be able to get the help you need before something bad happens. But hurting someone else is not the only thing that could happen in cases of road rage.
The people who are with you in a vehicle when you engage in road rage could easily be injured as well. It's possible that your actions could inadvertently harm them or it's possible that the other driver that you are targeting with somehow injure them. Thinking about your loved ones and the other people around you may be the best way for you to improve your anger problem. But you are also someone that could be seriously injured because of a road rage incident. You never know how the other person is going to react when you act out. It's entirely possible that you could be hurt or even killed because of road rage.
If you do engage in road rage, you could experience several things other than physical harm or even death. You could suffer from damage to your vehicle. You could also be criminally charged because of the situation. You could end up going to court, paying for your and your victim's legal fees and even facing jail time as a result of the damage that you have caused. This is not going to be something you want for your future. So make sure you avoid the rage right from the start.
Even if you don't have a problem with road rage, it's possible that you could be affected by someone else's road rage. That means you need to be very careful about how you act when you're driving. Getting frustrated with someone else could lead to someone else's road rage. Some of the things you do while driving could lead someone else to road rage as well. But you don't have a lot of control over how other people feel or what they do because of your actions.
The best thing that you can do is stay calm and get out of the way if anything happens. If someone tries to force you off the road or attempts to approach your vehicle the best thing you can do is get away as quickly as possible. You do not want to engage someone who is in that type of mood. Nothing good is going to come of it, and you will not be able to reason with them in that state of mind. Getting away and letting the authorities know what happened is your best option.
Preventing Your Own Road Rage
Figuring out what you can do to keep yourself calm in any driving situation is an excellent thing. The best way to go about this is to find music that soothes you and keeps you calm and play this on the radio. Make sure that you recognize people make mistakes and be willing to forgive people for the mistakes that they may make on the road. Keep your vehicle back from other vehicles on the road to avoid crowding or any danger of hitting them if they stop suddenly. Also, keep yourself from reacting aggressively to another driver.
Getting Help For Road Rage
If you know that you are experiencing aggressive driving or road rage, it's crucial that you get the help you need to overcome it. Being violent is not something that you want, and yet, it's something that could easily overtake your life. Getting help means that you need to find a mental health professional that can put you on the right track toward improving your mood and reducing the chances that you will have road rage at some point in the future. But you have to find the right mental health professional to help you first.
Finding a mental health professional isn't always easy, however. No matter where you live you finds yourself limited in the number of mental health professionals that are available in your area. You may find that none of them are great for you and that you're not comfortable talking with them. But you don't need to be limited to the professionals that are located close to you. Instead, you can get online and find out more about different mental health professionals all around the country. That's going to give you more options, and it will help you find someone you can enjoy working with as well.
BetterHelp is one place you can find the information you need about different mental health conditions. It's also a great place to find your next mental health professional. That's because it's a completely online system that allows you to reach out to someone anywhere in the country. You can find someone that you feel comfortable talking to you and then you can get online from absolutely anywhere. You could be at home, at work, on a trip, on vacation or anywhere at all. That's going to make it a whole lot easier and more convenient for you to have your sessions. So make sure you check it out and see how it's going to work for you.