That Burns My Biscuits!

Published 8:40 am Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Do you get road rage when driving? Some examples are: someone cuts you off, they may take the left lane and stay there, preventing anyone from passing, they don’t use turn  signals. They are aggressive and may weave in and out of traffic, passing everyone in their way. Do you know what road rage is? According to Wikipedia, road rage is “aggressive or angry behavior exhibited by a driver. Rude, offensive gestures, verbal insults, physical threats or dangerous driving methods targeted toward another driver or a pedestrian in an effort to intimidate or release frustration.” In other words, you react to the mistakes or even intentional behaviors of bad drivers in a way that drags you down to their level. Do you know that the best way to get back at anyone is to ignore them? If they are not actually hurting anyone, ignore them and drive on and mind your own business.

What causes road rage? Dr. Barry Markell, PhD, says that road rage turns us into selfish, power hungry, angry and vindictive beings. Some reasons why are: A road rager may be violent in his or her private life. Dr. Markell also says that any small frustration can evolve into road rage. It could be worry about financial problems, a fight with your spouse or being late for work. Then, we do not see other drivers as human, Ava Cadell, PhD, a psychologist and instructor at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, says. The heavy metal of a car is a safe haven for the road rager and he does not consider that he may harm people in their “safe havens.” Dr. Cadell believes that anger management should be taught in high school. “Many people do not know that there are alternative options and ways of releasing anger. Anger management is both educational and therapeutic and there would be a lot less road rage and domestic violence.”

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What do you do to help you stop road raging? You can get the proper amount of sleep because lack of sleep causes lack of control. Limit alcohol. Leave earlier. Play soothing music. Ask yourself what other drivers may be going through. Place pictures of your loved ones on your dashboard, a reminder of what you have to live for. And last, think of the costs: tickets, court costs, damage to vehicles and insurance rates. You can even make a plan like the one in place in the event of a house fire. Practice it and always ask yourself in busy traffic, “I’m becoming too upset — what can I do?” Pull over, put on your flashers and take a few deep breaths, calm down  and carry on!

Dr. Markell recommends the following if you are being targeted by someone with road rage: If you are being tailgated, change lanes. Slow down and let the other driver pass. Do not return gestures.

Stay behind the angry driver at all costs — they can do less damage from behind you. Pull off the road or exit to let them go past you. Stay focused on your own driving safely and let them go.

The roads are busier than ever and crowding causes aggression. Do we want to be raging, hateful beings? I think we do not, so take the following advice. Dr. Cadell says, “Have a positive attitude and enjoy the ride.” Dr. Markell says, “Don’t be a jerk!”

Good luck and stay safe.

That’s my take on things. What “burns your biscuits”?

You are in my prayers,