Drivers are being slapped with prison sentences for criminally bad behavior behind the wheel. We’re not talking about forgetting to use your blinkers, we’re talking about road rage!
Incidents happens on our Florida roadways a lot more frequently than many think, especially during the holiday travel season when our roads are slammed with traffic. According to the Complaints Board, a survey of 500 drivers found that 90 percent of these drivers say that they saw acts of or were the victims of road rage at least one in the last year.
Our personal injury attorneys in West Palm Beach understand that there are an expected 5 million Floridians traveling at least 50 miles from their home over the holiday travel period, and that doesn’t count the residents that will be staying local. With the increase in traffic, we’re going to see slower roads, more traffic jams and even angrier drivers. It’s of utmost importance to stay focused and to stay calm behind the wheel. Contrary to popular belief, driving is not a competition and no one is out there to “get” another driver. We all have places to be and we all want to get there safely. It’s important to remember that we’re all in this together.
“Road rage is driving under the influence of impaired emotions,” says Leon James, professor of traffic psychology.
To help to keep everyone calm during the busy holiday travel season, we’re here with some simple tips:
-You want to take care of yourself even before you get into the car. Make sure you’re well rested and you’re not hungry. Both sleep deprivation and hunger can cause a driver to fly off the edge in a matter of seconds.
-Leave your home earlier. You want to make sure that you factor in time for poor weather, for traffic delays, for rest stops and for detours. By allowing more time to get to where you’ve got to be, you can avoid rushing and reduce your risks for both an accident and for incidents of road rage.
-Take a second to calm down. If you feel yourself starting to get agitated behind the wheel, take a second, pull over and cool off. You never want to retaliate. Most oftentimes, the original act from the “offending” driver was actually a mistake.
-Take your mind off of the agitation. Think of happy, positive thoughts. Think about getting to your destination and kicking off your holiday vacation — but think about getting there safely.
-Most importantly, remember that there are no winners in driving. There are only losers and those are the ones who get into accidents or let road rage or aggressive driving habits get the best of them.
We want to wish you and your family a Happy Holidays and ask that you keep it cool behind the wheel. It’s a joyous holiday. Let’s share that joy behind the wheel and help all travelers to have a safe and pleasant trip.