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Don't Let Road Rage Take Over

In case you missed it, two men let their road rage get the best of them during their Monday morning commute and made headlines on major media markets including CNN, DailyMail, and Fox. Austin is unfortunately no stranger to reckless driving. Last year the city saw 102 traffic related fatalities. City officials reported that more than 60% of these involved an impaired driver, but all of them involved human accident. Since we can't hold our breath till self driving cars take over, driving failures are simply part of the day-to-day in the heard of the lone star state.

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Engaging in risky driving
  • Mentally condemning other drivers
  • Violent actions or thoughts towards other drivers

Driving with a mind that's clouded with anger can lead to irrational decision-making and could put you and others in danger. These 5 tips can help you avoid road rage, because nobody wants to be like those guys.

  1. Don't Make Assumptions About Other Drivers: Experts say that when you're behind the wheel, judging others' driving behavior can lead you down a route that may end with a bad temper. If you automatically assume that someone cut you off on purpose, you're more likely to act irrationally later on. Take a deep breath, consider the traffic, and let that person in rather than frustrating yourself.
  2. Driving is Not a Competition: We all win when we all arrive safely and free of accident or injury. If that means driving slower in the exit lane, making room for someone to pull out or holding off on honking your horn at a green light, then make the safer decision. Remember that no one person will win, and that when driving we're all on the same team. Remember that unless you are a police officer, it is not your position to punish others for dangerous driving. Remember that safety is the most important task while on the roadway.
  3. Leave With Time to Spare: When you have a bit of extra time to spare on your morning or evening commute you won't stress out when you get caught in a red light. Leave a bit of cushion room for you to arrive safely at work on time. When you get caught in unexpected traffic from an accident on I-35, the extra time spent in the car may not be fun but you won't be stressed out anticipating what your boss might say when you arrive to work late.
  4. Avoid Making Angry Gestures: Be a courteous driver and wave at those who let you out of a parking lot onto a backed up roadway and don't lash out at drivers who jump in on their chance to get into your lane. By keeping your temper calm, you will avoid the negative side effects that come along with road rage. Refuse to allow others to dictate the quality of your day.
  5. Seek Help If Your Anger Persists: Road rage is common among adults who commute to work in busy towns. Since Austin is no stranger to unexpected traffic from accidents and crashes on roadways, avoiding heavy traffic may be impossible. Seek guidance from a licensed health professional if necessary, or consider taking the bus if you can. This study suggests that commuters who walk have the highest level of satisfaction. Next on the study? Commuters by train. Since Austin won't be announcing any comprehensive light rail system anytime soon, perhaps you can consider biking to work.

Controlling your road rage won't just better your day, it can help you prevent injury, avoid an increase in car insurance, and avoid troubles with law enforcement - like the two guys in Monday's video. If you have been the victim of an accident or of road rage, call Rhett Hoestenbach for a free consultation with a Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney. Phone: 512-472-8865

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