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What can you learn from road rage incidents?

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Road rage often occurs when one or both drivers perceive the other driver as an inconsiderate or dangerous driver. This article uses examples of such perceptions to discuss how drivers can obtain at least something positive from the negative experience of road rage.

One example involves a driver who pulls out from a side street and into the flow of the traffic on the main street. A driver already in the main street traffic feels that the side street driver pulled out with too little space between moving cars and has taken too long to catch up to the speed of the traffic. For this reason, he blares his car horn at this merging driver, flashes his car lights, and closely rides the rear bumper of the merging driver. In retaliation, the merging driver displays his middle finger to the driver behind him.

What should both drivers have done differently? If, over time, the merging driver has displeased many drivers with his merging habits, perhaps he should admit that he has a need to wait for longer spaces between cars and to more quickly accelerate to the speed of the traffic into which he is merging. If the other driver finds that most merging motorists seem to irritate him, perhaps he should work on being more calm and patient while driving. He might even be able to recall times when he angered other drivers with his merging habits.

Too many drivers feel that it is their right to make other drivers aware of and ashamed about their inconsiderate or dangerous driving habits. Examples of such bad driving habits might include drivers who:

  1. Have cell phone conversations or text while driving.
  2. Move too fast for the road conditions.
  3. Change road lanes without warning.

Even just a dirty look at such a driver can trigger an escalating exchange that leads to road rage. Such drivers eventually will become aware of the seriousness of their bad driving habits and will try to change them when the police give them traffic tickets or when these bad drivers have car accidents.

In summary, a smart driver learns from what other drivers are telling her about her bad driving habits, but she does not attempt to shame other drivers into better driving habits. James 1:19-29 reads, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

What experiences have you had with road rage? Please comment below.

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