With road-rage incidents on the rise across the country and many high-profile incidents like the one caught on tape recently where two drivers literally jumped from their vehicles and began wildly shooting at one another, I felt it important to remind everyone on the importance of road-rage issues.
Most of us have, at some point, encountered a road-raged driver. Actually, as you drive daily, you share the road with literally thousands of these got to be there now, and you are in my way, drivers. Road-rage drivers range anywhere from a simple case of someone running late for work or an event to a driver who thinks everyone else on the roadway is in his or her way and can’t drive.
Road-rage drivers can be seen daily on our streets and highways. Here are just a few signs to look for in a road-rage driver:
• constantly tailgating other drivers even though you’re traveling the speed limit.
• changes lanes erratically and often without signaling.
• slams their brakes when someone tailgates them.
• uses profanity and improper hand gestures when agitated at other motorists or pedestrians.
Some road-rage drivers will go so far as to force you off the road, follow you to a certain point, including your home or work, and start a verbal or physical altercation or even brandish a weapon and shoot at you.
Here are a few tips to use when you encounter a road rage driver:
• don’t aggravate them, pull into another lane if possible and allow them to pass.
• maintain the proper speed.
• do not tailgate.
• always use your turn signals.
• never make eye contact with a road rage driver. It doesn’t help and only serves to enrage them even more.
The best thing to do is forgive, forget and move on.
We have, all at one time or another, suffered a little road rage while driving or sitting in traffic. However, we must use common sense, not to mention courtesy, patience and respect, on our roadways and streets. Remember, the streets and roadways belong to all of us, and we must share them.
Becoming hot headed and angry while driving a 3,000-pound weapon is not a wise decision. If you encounter a road rage driver call the police or local law enforcement immediately. If you are followed by an aggressive or road raged driver, drive to a safe, well-lit and occupied location and call the police. Never exit your car when approached by a road-raged driver, and always travel with your doors locked.
If you are encountered by a road-rage driver and have already called for the police, activate the video on your cellphone and document the activity if you can.
In closing, lets make the most dangerous thing we do daily a little safer. In other words, let’s be careful and respectful to one another out there.
Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.