Road Rage and Crazy Driving
Road rage is becoming worse and worse in the US as drivers become worse and worse. There is an increase in the number of aggressive, angry, arrogant drivers on the roads. Of course this can be attributed to the general stress and anger people feel in today's economy as well, but it also comes down to simply having a "me first" attitude. People tend to act more aggressive in cars and on the roads than they would when they are just walking on the street. The feeling that a car gives you protection and anonymity can prove false, however.
One thing that can be noticed - and which can be infuriating - is how often people just simply don't use their turn signals. Whether it be because their hands are full while they are stuffing their faces with greasy and sugary foods, or with phones, or simply from a total disregard for others is unknown. I would wager that its a mix of all of these things. People have become so lazy of mind and body that they simply cannot be bothered to move their fingers and use their turn signals.
Another fun action is when people just swing their car doors open when parallel parked without checking to see if there is anyone coming. Again, the scary thing is that most people guilty of this probably don't make a conscious decision to do this in order to annoy others. It simply doesn't even cross their minds to do so.
It is easy to try to just not let these things get to you, but in reality these behaviors can fuel road rage in the calmest of people. Oh, which also brings me to one last item: driving the wrong way in a parking lot which has one ways streets between the parking places. That's another fun one. I witnessed this yesterday at my local park for the first time in my life. The first guy I saw doing it just made me do a double take. I figured that was just probably a one off idiot. Nope, I then saw two other people doing it within 10 minutes. Oh, and all three were driving SUVs and probably knew full well that they were driving the wrong way. If someone driving correctly would have been entering the parking lot at that moment there would most likely have been an accident. That is just sad seeing as the speed limit there is 10 mph.
One solution to all the dangerous drivers out there would be to just ban cars and give everyone a golf cart to drive. No, soccer moms wouldn't have to worry as families with children would be given bigger golf carts. Another plus to having to drive golf carts would be that people wouldn't be able to buy too much food at the supermarket, which means they'd have to get out more to shop almost every day.
Many people don't seem to realize the amount of damage that can be done with just one second of not paying attention to the road. There are others who feel like they are playing a video game and they have endless lives to use after a crash. No matter how many times people are warned not to drive drunk, not to drive recklessly, not to drive fast etc, they still do so. Unfortunately this will most likely be the case for as long as people drive. However, making punishments for driving in the above ways a lot stricter would most likely help. Even after a first offense people should get their licenses suspended for a month. If they commit lesser offenses 2 more times (for example not using a turning signal), they would get their licenses suspended for a few years. The penalty for drunk driving - even once - should be losing your license for life.
It is naive to think that people will all just calm down and relax when they are driving. The more cars there are on the roads, the more instances of road rage we find. For example, Russia has seen a massive increase in the number of cars on the roads since the fall of communism. The instances of road rage there are huge. Many Russians use dash cams in order to protect themselves from liability during accidents and other incidents. The compilation below shows how bad roads, too many cars, and aggressive drivers leads to dangerous confrontations.
For what it's worth, it is best to just relax and not let others upset us with their driving style, unless of course they are putting you or others in direct danger. It is this lack of concern for the well being of others by dangerous drivers that is the main area of concern. The only way to help stem the tide of road rage is to have much stiffer penalties given to those who transgress the rules of the road.