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Signs Of Road Rage – Do You Exhibit These Behaviors?

Updated on May 21, 2013
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I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. The rest are just life's add-ons: an educator, administrator, learner, & development professional.

Do you have road rage?
Do you have road rage? | Source

Have you experienced road rage before? You don’t have to go out of your car and smash someone else’s window before you think you have road rage. Many drivers don’t realize that there is anger brewing inside them. When this goes unchecked, you might be harboring a road rage beast inside of you. So before you cross over to the destructive and violent side, know the telltale signs of anger on the road. The sooner you recognize the signs of road rage, the better you can address it.

Cussing and cursing while driving

There’s a long list of cussing and cursing that I can write, but I will spare you the vulgarity. It is one thing to exclaim a rude word or two now and then, but it’s another to blurt out a barrage of profanity simply because other motorist are driving too slow in front of you. You don’t need to learn how to read lips for you to know that the other driver is spitting vulgarity inside his car. Worse, some drivers even roll down their windows and pull to your side just to throw these immature words at you. If you’re at the receiving end, it’s just hard to resist pitching your own. When you’re the one throwing them out, you’re in for a tough ride when you find yourself face to face with another road rage warrior.

Use constructive words rather than profanity. Also, think about what you want to accomplish before you say anything. People tend to speak without the benefit of forethought. This is why they get into trouble rather than resolve problems.

Sure, you may think twice to shout OMG if you’re all burly, tattoo-covered and driving a 500 horsepower muscle car. But, there are better ways to release your surprise or even anger on the road. Cussing and cursing are just words that can aggravate you and other motorists.

How do you handle road rage?
How do you handle road rage? | Source

Rude gestures

Hand signals may come in helpful when driving. However, giving other motorists the finger is not one of them. Although non-verbal communication is diverse, this one is universally accepted as rude. If rolling down your window and brandishing your middle finger is a habit of yours, know the risks. First, you take off on hand off the wheel unnecessarily. At 70 MPH, control of your vehicle is very important. Next, waving your hand or any body part for that matter outside your car is just dangerous. Lastly, such rude behaviors on the road can escalate matters.

Other gestures that can be counterproductive include waving a clenched fist and pointing at other people. Of course the norms from one place maybe different from another. But when in doubt, just avoid flailing around your hands while driving. Remember, when you’re feeling anxious or angry, don’t let your fingers do the talking.

A motorist hits a traffic enforcer

Driving faster than needed

Allow me to be clear about this. Driving along the freeway at 100 mph is one thing, but driving at the same speed in a residential area is another. Many drivers resort to putting the feet hard on the pedal when they feel frustrated with another driver or with some other reason. It may pale compared to more violent behaviors but this can be dangerous. Worse, you put other people both motorists and pedestrians in danger.

There are times when drivers choose to increase speed when there’s a car trying to cut my lane without even signaling. There is lots of that in Metro Manila. Another instance is when we choose to go faster when we try to catch up to another driver just to cut them off. It’s childish, but it happens.

Before you put your foot on the pedal to retaliate, try to take it off or easing on it for a change. This requires conscious effort. But the payback is worth every restraint.

Honking like it’s the end of the world

Which do you prefer, long bursts or a myriad of short bursts? Perhaps you’re the hybrid type of honker. Regardless, using your horn more than necessarily is a sure sign of road rage. If you've driven in Metro Manila, Philippines, you’re probably aware of how honking can be part of the driver’s daily lingo. Long bursts usually mean get the hell out of my way. Short but more frequent horn blasts means hurry up, move it. Of course there is no dictionary for honking in Metro Manila, but after some time, you can decipher what they mean. The most proficient honkers in the Philippines are the public transport drivers particularly the bus drivers. I lovingly call them bully buses.

The horn is created to get the attention of other motorist or even pedestrians. It’s a helpful tool in the hands of cool-headed drivers. But in the hands of a road rage warrior, it’s a weapon of intimidation. The louder you are the scarier you may appear.

Sometimes I can’t resist the idea that driving can be egocentric. My horn is bigger than your horn. Toot it if you dare. Unless you have a really big horn, resist the urge to honk it unnecessarily.

Driving at night can be difficult.  Use your headlights properly.
Driving at night can be difficult. Use your headlights properly. | Source

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Flashing of lights

The headlights are more than just for illumination. It is a way to communicate with other drivers. Flashing your headlights can warm others as you approach especially at night in turns and blind curves. However, these same tools for safety can be used to provoke others. Flashing of headlights like a madman can irritate others. Worse, some even switch to brighter lights just to blind the other driver. This behavior is just juvenile and dangerous.

This is really dangerous when done to on-coming cars at night. This can impair the vision of the driver and can cause fatal accidents. So please, if you have the habit of flashing your lights like a madman or switching to brighter lights to

The signs of road rage are easy to identify. However, if you’re the one behind the wheel, it’s equally easy to disregard these signs. You can always point to someone or something else but never put the blame on yourself. Road rage starts from somewhere. Before it gets out of hand, make sure you tame the beast.

There are many steps to fight road rage. The first and most important step is to recognize the signs and put a stop to them. When you’re behind the wheel, people are dependent on you for their safety. So, the next time you go out on the road, consider these road rage behaviors and consciously put a stop to them. There are many behaviors not worth doing while driving. Drive responsibly.

Do you think you have road rage? Or are you calm enough to survive your next drive?

Comments

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    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello there carrie Lee Night,

      It is wise of you to exercise caution. After all you want to arrive at your destination in one piece,

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      4 years ago from Northeast United States

      Thank you for sharing the symptoms of road rage :). I always say if you flip the bird ....they might flip the switch. I do practice a little road huff n puff but I try to keep civil because you don't know who you are dealing with. Thank you for sharing. Voted useful and interesting.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello there Anthony Moreau

      I've read many road incidents turning into lethal encounters. Patience is important.

    • Anthony Moreau profile image

      Richard de Mey 

      4 years ago from Scottsdale, Arizona

      LOL!.. I'm sure we are all guilty of road rage at one time or another, I know I certainly am. I'm just impatient especially for slow drivers. Getting angry doesn't solve the problem and in some cases can fuel the fire. You never know who's willing to step out of their car and start a physical confrontation. Especially in today's age with so many people carrying guns, you're better off controlling your temper. A few light taps on your horn is a lot better then yelling, slamming on your brakes or using your middle finger

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello NateB11,

      I used to honk a lot. It's not a great way to drive plus it gets you all stressed up.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      4 years ago from California, United States of America

      We do some truly funny and sometimes dangerous things when driving. What you said about the horn honking had me laughing hard; people do some serious horn honking on the road. I think I've experienced or seen all of these things you've outlined here.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi LadyFiddler

      They will definitely make you sin. LOL I've seen my share of drivers slugging it out on the road for really minor things. Sad...I didn't have my camera with me. that would have been a viral video in the making. :)

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 

      4 years ago from On planet Earth

      LOL i know about these gestures and cursing etc but i do not do them, i hear or see them lol. Sometimes i get mad when the driver do for a bad driver etc these crazy people will make you sin on the road.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there JPSO138 ,

      nice to see you again. Yup, that definitely true. I think the land transportation office need to check driver's mental condition before giving out licenses. LOL

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 

      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Accidents can happen anytime. Most especially if you are not in the condition to drive. That is why it is important to stay cool and relax and consider the basic rules in driving such as concentration, consideration and anticipation.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi mjkearn,

      I heard you were the second best driver. I'm the best. LOL. Getting to point A to point B is sometimes very dangerous even though it's just a few minutes drive. Regardless of what we drive we need more discipline. Have a great day as well. Drive safely.

    • profile image

      mjkearn 

      5 years ago

      Hi JP

      Road Rage. What's that and what's cussing, LOL.

      I'm the best driver on the planet and I thought everyone knew that and should get out of my way, LOL.

      Great article and at the end of the day we all just want to get from point A to point B safely.

      Wait until we all get personal aircraft and then there will be a whole new meaning to the term air rage though I reckon the arguments will be very quick and decisive, LOL.

      Wishing you a great day.

      MJ.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Nell Rose,

      That's good to know. At least i won't get into trouble when I drive there. Interesting driving habit. They should not honk too much here in the Philippines. Angry looks would be the least of their concerns.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      A funny story when I went to Greece, evidently honking the horn was a polite thing to do! they honk the horn to allow you to get in front etc, mind you it took us ages to figure it out, there was a lot of angry looks at them at first! lol!

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Laika,

      I hate bully buses!

    • profile image

      Laika 

      5 years ago

      I drive along COmmonwealth Ave and I know what you mean. Some buses are just too bad.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there Mike Robbers,

      Thanks for sharing your views on the topic. Just today, We were almost hit by a driver who was weaving through the road. Discipline behind the wheel is very important. Sadly, no traffic enforcer was there.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there Mike Robbers,

      Thanks for sharing your views on the topic. Just today, We were almost hit by a driver who was weaving through the road. Discipline behind the wheel is very important. Sadly, no traffic enforcer was there.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      5 years ago from London

      The raging driving habits you describe in your hub are sadly evident in almost any big city of the world. And usually they are responsible for a large number of traffic accidents so I agree that enforcement and regulation should be rather austere.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello jocent ,

      Enforcement traffic rules and regulations is also important. If violators don't get a reprimand, then more will follow this dangerous behavior.

    • jocent profile image

      jocent 

      5 years ago

      You are right and very helpful in writing this hub. A lot of accident and road injuries are caused by this bad driving habits. I myself is a victim and guilty of this mad driving character. I believe that the government's negligence and policy must be corrected in order to control this road problems. The issuance of licenses should be checked strictly to those only qualified to drive, never to un-educated persons. Most problems are caused by un-courteous, un-lawful and daredevil sport minded drivers. Thanks for sharing.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I know what you mean kidscrafts. I see a lot of undisciplined drivers out there.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 

      5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I don't like when people drive dangerously. So if someone cut me off dangerously, I will "honk" as an "educational honk".... meaning to say "you should be more careful".

      Thanks for sharing!

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