Archive for Wednesday, December 8, 1999

Road rage a phenomena of a generation on wheels

December 8, 1999

"Road rage." It's a term that entered our consciousness and vocabulary only recently. Road rage is something all drivers must think about-your own feelings of anger in traffic, as well as other drivers who might lose control if you provoke them.

Road rage can be deadly! With more vehicles on the road every day, it's important to keep your "cool" when a situation develops that may involve you.

The professionals say that driving too close to the vehicle ahead, changing lanes without using a signal, and driving too fast are the main causes for accidents on the streets and highways.

Road rage can lead to physical confrontations with another driver. Perhaps you've made a driver mad, and he or she has given you an obscene gesture and loud, ugly words. In extreme cases, a driver may have a firearm in the car, and in anger, may choose to use it. Unfortunately several such incidents occurred in Kansas during this past year.

To better protect yourself from the possibility of road rage:

If possible, drive at a time of day when traffic is lighter and you have more time to reach your destination.

Use your low-beam lights when driving in traffic on two-lane highways and city streets. Bright auto headlights can irritate the most amiable driver because bright lights can seriously affect on-coming traffic.

Use your bright lights cautiously when driving on divided highways. Always dim your lights for on-coming traffic.

Use your horn cautiously. Reminding the driver ahead of you that the light has turned green with a horn honk is a habit you should break.

Remember one of the basic rules of the road is "keep to the right of the road except when passing."

To keep better control of your own senses and disposition, take frequent breaks from driving. Stop for a soft drink in a restaurant or pull off the road and relax in a shady place. Notice if other cars have pulled off the highway too, especially if they follow you into a rest stop. If you don't feel comfortable when you stop, it's best to drive on to a place more to your liking. Prevent road rage. Don't be a victim or a perpetrator.

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