3 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary Defines Road Rage as: a motorist's uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist's irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior Merriam-Webster [On-line]. Available: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/road%20ragehttp://www.m-w.com/dictionary/road%20rage What is Road Rage?
Some Road Rage Examples People being shot and killed because they had cut someone off or driven to slowly. A man who was murdered by another driver’s crossbow after a “heated, ongoing traffic dispute”. A student being shot by a 57 year old man because he could not disable the loud theft alarm on his vehicle. Two cars racing at 80 MPH on the George Washington Parkway crossed the median and hit two vehicles in the oncoming lanes, killing three of the four drivers and resulting in the surviving driver being sentenced to 10 years in prison. A driver who after a mere fender bender pummeled his fists into the face of a woman who was six months pregnant (the other driver). Tailgating High beaming Obscene language or gestures Using ones car as a “weapon” High speeds Weaving in and out of traffic Mizzell, L. (1996). Aggressive Driving; A report by Louis Mizell, Inc. for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety [On-line]. Available: http://www.aaafoundation.org/resources/index.cfm?button=agdrtext
Penalties and Punishment If you play the road rage game, be warned that for these types of incidents, the United States prosecutes under either one or a combination of the following: Aggressive Driving Assault and Battery (with or without a vehicle) Vehicular Homicide (if someone is killed) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_rage_(phenomenon)
It is not only the United States that is concerned with this…. Below are penalties in Great Britian: Causing Death by Dangerous Driving: 10 years imprisonment Dangerous Driving: £5,000 or six months or both plus disqualification for one year and a re-test Careless or Inconsiderate Driving: £2,500 plus three to nine penalty points Causing Danger to Other Road Users: Triable summarily2, £5,000 or six months or both. Triable on indictment -- seven years or a fine or both Murder or Manslaughter could be charged in the appropriate circumstances; the sentence for both can be life imprisonment Common Assault: Six months or £5,000 or both Wounding with Intent: Can be life imprisonment Unlawful Wounding Five years and/or fine. Triable only on indictment Causing Injury by Furious Driving: On indictment five years and/or a fine. Otherwise six months and/or £5,000 Using Threatening, Abusive, or Insulting Words or Behavior, thereby causing fear or provocation, or offering violence with intent to cause a person to believe that unlawful violence will be used: Six months or £5,000 or both As above, but using threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behavior and causing harassment, fear, or distress: £1,000 -- in this element there is no actual intent of violence Criminal Damage: Six months and/or £5,000, unless the following elements are present, which would dictate that the cause be tried on indictment: a) Committed by a group; b) The damage is of high value; c) There is clear racial motivation Connell, D. & Joint, M. (1996). Driver Aggression; A report by the Road Safety Unit for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety [On-line]. Available: http://www.aaafoundation.org/resources/index.cfm?button=agdrtext
We’ve All Seen “Idiot” Drivers But what about yourself…have you ever stopped to think about your behavior and thought processes while driving? Take a moment to reflect…. Go to the next page and take the: ROAD RAGE QUIZ!!!!!
Are you ready to R..R....R....R....Rumble? Have you been accused of being a "RAGER" of the road kind? Have those drives into work or school become increasingly colourful in language and have the old road signals turned into gestures of the most obscene kind? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then maybe it's time for you to test your ROAD RAGE QUOTIENT. OK......Ready? Start those engines.... ( Instructions have been edited from original form. Original content can be viewed at below listed weblink ) The Road Rage Quotient [On-line]. Available: http://webhome.idirect.com/~kehamilt/rage.htmhttp://webhome.idirect.com/~kehamilt/rage.htm The Road Rage Quiz
1. If you are driving in traffic in the fast lane and the person in front of you is driving the speed limit do you: a. slow down because you realize you are speeding b. slow down, turn on your signals and move into the other lane, and eventually move back into the fast lane c. tailgate the idiot d. turn on your high beams and honk your horn and tailgate e. zip into the slow lane; then zip into the fast lane while giving the finger and then slow down in front of the jerk. 2. You are in a parking lot looking for a parking space. You spot an empty place but there is a woman standing in the middle of the space obviously saving the space for her husband who is nowhere to be seen. Do you: a. move on and look for another place b. give her a dirty look and then move on c. swear at her telling her to "move her fat butt" d. act like you are going to drive into her e. drive into the spot just missing her by an inch 3. You are stopped at a traffic light and the light has just turned green. The person in front of you is chatting on a cell phone. Do you. a. wait calmly, realizing that it will only be a second or two b. wait a second, put on your signals and move into another lane c. honk your horn and yell out your window "Pay Attention Idiot" d. zoom up quickly behind the person, honking madly e. zoom up behind,swerve beside the person, ranting and raving then in the middle of the intersection slow down in front of the person and then zoom off. 4. A person is tailgating you. Do you: a. as soon as it is safe, signal and pull into another lane b. continue on because you are going the speed limit c. stick your hand out the window and give them the finger d. slow down even more and make it impossible for the idiot to get into another lane e. slow down, then speed up, then slow down again and slam on the brakes. The Road Rage Quotient [On-line]. Available: http://webhome.idirect.com/~kehamilt/rage.htm
5. When you are in your car how often are you ranting and raving: a. almost never b. occasionally c. most of the time d. 99% of the time e. 100% of the time in the car and 50% of the time outside of the car once you've reached your destination 6. Which of the following groups of people do you find have poor driving skills: a. sorry I can't really categorize them b. people who drive for a living c. people from other ethnicity than your own, women drivers, taxi drivers d. other ethnicity, women, teenagers, older people, people with glasses, taxi drivers, blondes, people who are so short that they can't be seen behind the wheel, minivan drivers, sports car drivers, truckers, e. all of the above plus brunettes, black haired people, bald people, red heads, punk hair coloured people, members of the hair club 7. I find driving to be: a. fun and relaxing b. relaxing when I'm alone on the road, but nerve wracking in city traffic c. challenging but dangerous d. a good place where I can really let loose and express myself e. a place where I show the rest of the world what a bunch of incompetents they are 8. My driving skills are: a. good b. great c. better than most on the road d. superior e. I am the best ; no one comes close to my skill The Road Rage Quotient [On-line]. Available: http://webhome.idirect.com/~kehamilt/rage.htm
9. You are driving down the road going your usual speed when you spot a woman putting on her makeup. Do you: a. laugh and continue on your way. b. drive by and give her a dirty look c. speed past her and yell "Forget it; It won't help" d. speed past give her the finger, yell obscenities e. same as 'd' but also cut in front of her and slam on the brakes 10. Which phrase fits best how you feel: a. I like people b. I like some people c. Most people suck d. I like people when they are not around e. I like people once they're dead. OK folks...time to tally up those numbers. Give yourself the following points for each letter For every "a" give yourself 0 points For every "b" give yourself 2 points For every "c" give yourself 3 points For every "d" give yourself 4 points For every "e" give yourself 5 points add them up then go to the next page and all will be revealed The Road Rage Quotient [On-line]. Available: http://webhome.idirect.com/~kehamilt/rage.htm
So how did you do? 0-6 points=You are a saint. If everybody were like you, there would be world peace. 7-20 points=You have your good and bad days on the road. Overall you only suffer from mild road rage. 21-30 points= You can be seen by others as scary at times. Take up some form of sport to channel your energies. 31-40 points= You are dangerous. Increase your medication now. 41-50 points= You are a truly sick individual. Move to the country immediately, become a vegetarian; take up yoga; quit your job and buy a farm; grow vegetables; denounce the consumer society; join greenpeace; donate all your motorized vehicles to a worthy cause. The Road Rage Quotient [On-line]. Available: http://webhome.idirect.com/~kehamilt/rage.htm
What Now? Well, now that you have had time to reflect…for those of you with a “saintly” score..CONGRATULATIONS! For those of us with “less than a saintly” score…do not despair. There are a few simple things you can do that will make the driving experience more enjoyable for you. It could also save your life and perhaps someone else’s. Wouldn’t you like to think that you helped save a life……every…single…day….?
Helpful Tips 1.Make your car comfortable. Like music? Buy an inexpensive cd player that plugs into the tape deck or listen to the radio Like books? Audio books Fresh air? Windows down or AC..you choose.. Seat pad? A comfortable cushion can go a long way (just don’t get too comfy and fall asleep!)
Helpful Tips for Yourself Make yourself comfortable. Feeling stressed? Do some neck stretches and shoulder rolls. Don’t grip the steering wheel. Soften your gaze into the distance instead of focusing at a point up close. Relax arms.
Breathing Breathe deeply and not shallowly – in today’s busy world, most people find that they tend to hold in their stomach and as a result they breathe more shallowly by pulling air into the chest and then exhaling. Try it for yourself – just breathe normally and observe where you feel the most movement..is it in the chest or in the belly? If you feel most movement in the chest then you are “chest breathing” and actually making yourself feel more stressed and angry. Want to know more about conscious breathing? Check out the below recommended Reading: Farhi, D. (1996). The Breathing Book. New York, Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Relax the Belly. Inhale slowly and feel the belly expand with the inhale…bring the air up and feel the ribs expand…inhale a little further up into the chest….and then exhale slowly and smoothly. Do the above technique for a minute or two. When we are angry, our blood pressure rises and contributes to feelings of panic or stress. Because we feel this way, as a “fight or flight” mechanism, our breath becomes more rapid and shallow. Deep breathing can reduce blood pressure within a matter of minutes. How To Breathe Deeply – Belly Breathing
What Else Can I Do? Good Question… Now that you are feeling less stressed, more relaxed and actually enjoying the ride…let’s talk about something else…. “The Principles – Mind, Thought, and Consciousness” 1.Mind -the formless energy that pervades all life 2.Thought - We, as humans use the power of Mind to create Thought 3.Consciousness – how we experience something (I am angry because…) Want to know more about the Three Principles? Check out the below recommended Readings: Banks, S. (1998). The Missing Link. Canada, International Human Relations Consultants, Inc. Pransky, J. (2003). Prevention from the Inside-Out. Cabot, Vermont: 1 st Books.
Thought A thought is a random, neutral event – it is just a thought, nothing more..nothing less. But, because we are humans…when a thought is formed, we then use our Consciousness (although at times we do this unconsciously!) to experience Thought as a reality. By understanding and reflecting on the three principles, one begins to realize that in life (or in this case driving), something happens (a trigger), we have a thought about that trigger (example – that woman cut me off), and then we experience that thought and add a dimension of good/bad to that thought and then experience it as reality (example – she cut me off because of this reason or that, how dare her, she can’t do that to me, I’ll show her….). And this means…???…..
This Means that…. Once an understanding of the principles takes place, a person can stop at the Thought portion of the process and realize that they are just having a thought and by not adding a dimension of good or bad to it, they can let it go. Once we realize this…we gain our power back and don’t have to react. We are in control – of ourselves. So..when you are faced with road rage..think to yourself – Should I let that offending and annoying driver control me or should I realize that I’m just having a thought and let it go…and be the one in control? And you know what else?
COMPASSION ………It doesn’t hurt to also think to yourself that… That “offending/annoying” driver is acting in the only way that they can, given their understanding and knowledge. I should feel sorry for them and just be on my way… Why get angry because someone is acting out of ignorance? Don’t be ignorant back just to prove a point……be thankful that you understand the principles. Perhaps you can help someone else to understand….. So that……
The End… …or perhaps for you..it’s the beginning of a new understanding
A very special Thanks to: Karen E. Hamilton Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences – George Brown College, Toronto, Canada Owner and Creator of the Road Rage Quotient http://webhome.idirect.com/~kehamilt/rage.htm For More of Karen’s Work See: http://www.youtube.com/kehamilt http://firstname.lastname@example.org/
References and Recommended Readings Banks, S. (1998). The Missing Link. Canada, International Human Relations Consultants, Inc. Connell, D. & Joint, M. (1996). Driver Aggression; A report by the Road Safety Unit for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety [On-line]. Available: http://www.aaafoundation.org/resources/index.cfm?button=agdrtext Farhi, D. (1996). The Breathing Book. New York, Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Pransky, J. (2003). Prevention from the Inside-Out. Cabot, Vermont: 1 st Books. Merriam-Webster [On-line]. Available: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/road%20ragehttp://www.m-w.com/dictionary/road%20rage Mizzell, L. (1996). Aggressive Driving; A report by Louis Mizell, Inc. for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety [On-line]. Available: http://www.aaafoundation.org/resources/index.cfm?button=agdrtext The Road Rage Quotient [On-line]. Available: http://webhome.idirect.com/~kehamilt/rage.htmhttp://webhome.idirect.com/~kehamilt/rage.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_rage_(phenomenon)