Ways to Cool a Road Rage Situation Before it Begins

In 2021, there was a six percent increase in road rage shootings in the US. According to an Everytown report, “An average of 44 people per month were shot and killed or wounded in road rage shootings—double the pre-pandemic average.” The pandemic has manifested this latent effect of more people becoming isolated at home and using their vehicles as means of escape. Yet instead of going on a relaxing, de-stressing drive, they are using their cars as a road rage weapon.

What is Road Rage?

Road rage is defined as “violent anger caused by the stress and frustration involved in driving a motor vehicle in difficult conditions.” This violent anger is expressed in a number of ways. A person who is swerving or braking their vehicle in order to get attention or otherwise hinder another driver – or a pedestrian, motorcyclist, or cyclist – is showing road rage. Other signs include being loud by honking the horn or yelling from the vehicle with the window up or down. If someone driving or in the passenger seat of a car is aggressively engaging another person in another vehicle in any way, this is a sign of road rage.

There are different levels of road rage based on how hostile the person is under the attack of road rage. Some individuals show visual signs of hostility, such as showing someone their middle finger, while others carry guns. These latter and more aggressive forms of road rage lead to shootings and fatalities. As someone in law enforcement, it is your duty to work with the community to find ways to help people recognize signs of road rage and be proactive in protecting themselves in this situation.

Ways to Manage Your Own Road Rage

Fortunately, there really are ways to manage road rage incidents and protect yourself from ever taking part. If you do not participate in road rage events, you are less likely to suffer serious bodily harm, and you should advise others to do the same. Individuals in a vehicle should maintain a clean car and keep it comfortable. This includes having heating and air conditioning that works and allows the driver to regulate the temperature inside the vehicle.

Drive When Rested and Not Prone to High Stress

For any driver, avoid getting out and going for a drive when you are already angry, or irritable. Driving is not the way to release negative tension. You also want to avoid driving when tired or sleepy, and especially, do not get behind the wheel when you are stressed. Stressed drivers are more prone to anxiety attacks or showing symptoms of stress when driving. This includes aggression, which contributes to road rage.

Advise People to Stay Calm and Seek Help

The police play a vital role in advising the community. Law officers should advise drivers that if they find themselves in a road rage situation to not assume the worst-case scenario and panic. Stay calm. Advise them that if an overly aggressive driver starts to approach them or their vehicle, do not get out of the vehicle or roll down the window. They can lock the doors and honk the horn to ward off the road rager. Tell drivers that if they are ever confronted with escalating signs of road rage that make them feel their life is in danger, call 911.

Protect Yourself and Others With Kustom Signals

Kustom Signals wants to help police officers to stay safe on the roads. We provide reliable police body cameras and in-car video for law enforcement to help. The LaserCam 4 is also a great addition to not only capture the speed of drivers, but you can record video evidence of road rage behaviors, such as tailgating or events happening inside and outside the car. 

Request a quote if you’d like to use any of these tools to protect your force and an innocent in a road rage scenario.

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