Road Raging Our Lives Away

Avani Samandur

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Car Runs Over Couple’s Motorcycle in Shocking Road-Rage Caught on Video” NBC News

Man Threatens Cyclist With Knife in Road Rage Incident

Daily Beast

Mississippi motorist shot in head during ‘road rage gone really bad’

The Times-Picayune

(above) These are all headlines from the last few weeks about violent instances of road rage.

Defined as “violent anger caused by the stress and frustration involved in driving a motor vehicle in difficult conditions,” road rage seems to be all the rage for aggressive drivers who feel as if the road is theirs. As seen in the headlines above, road rage is prevalent and extremely dangerous.  According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), aggressive driving is caused by a driver’s emotions, and is actually a part of a medical disorder. In a study recently done by Smart and Mann, results showed that “individuals with road rage were predominantly young (33.0 years of age on average) and male (96.6%),” however, road rage behavior may be prevalent throughout all ages and genders.

Road rage is also a huge issue in West Bloomfield, Michigan, a city in which many residents can establish that they have been a victim of insults directed at them due to what a perpetrator may consider poor driving. Many people are also unaware that road rage perpetrators can be arrested, under counts of harassment, assault, or assault with a deadly weapon. Arrests that have to do with harassment typically involves drivers who think that waving a deadly weapon at another driver is a good idea, or drivers who scream obscenities at other drivers. Arrests that have to do with assault, or assault with a deadly weapon sometimes involves the assault of the other driver with a baseball bat, pepper spray, a gun, or other weapon.  Many people do not realize this, but their car is considered a deadly weapon as well. If a driver attempts to drive over another driver or hit another person’s vehicle, they can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Driver Kinari Deodhar, 18, agrees that road rage is becoming something that she has to deal with all of the time as a driver on the roads of West Bloomfield. She says that “road rage is bad because it is not okay to let your anger out on the road where full attention is needed to drive safely, and my top priority is going where I need to go safely.” Deodhar agrees that stricter laws should be put in place in order to combat the issue of unsafe and aggressive driving on roads. West Bloomfield driver Shoba Natarajan also sees road rage all the time while she is driving. She says that in West Bloomfield, she “[sees] it at the Orchard Lake signal light to get on to Pontiac trail, at the M5 roundabout, and all other roundabouts in West Bloomfield.” Natarajan suggests that drivers be patient with others on the road, as avoiding accidents is her top priority.

Road Rage is a social problem that can only be fixed if all drivers are patient and understanding with each other. Drivers need to consider what others on the road may be dealing with, and drive accordingly. Insurance company Geico suggests that if you begin to suspect that a driver is getting aggravated because of you, to use the “I’m sorry” wave gesture to imply that you mean no harm. Geico also suggests moving over if someone is tailgating you, and to adjust your driving pattern if you think that something about it is annoying another driver. Remember, saving a life is always more important than getting to your destination on time!

 

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