Road Rage and the Common Man

road rage and the common man

Welcome to Ben’s Chronicles

Hello! I’m Ben from EINSURANCE. Trust me, I know there are plenty of things we’d both probably rather be doing than discussing insurance. But although insurance gets a bad rap, it does have its benefits; especially when you find the right coverage and carrier.

Unfortunately, throughout my life I have had a knack for being at the wrong place, at the right time. Given my gravitational pull toward bad luck, I wanted to share a few of my life experiences with you in hopes that my bad luck could benefit you. So, bear with me over the upcoming weeks, because I’ll be sharing little nuggets I’ve learned through navigating the insurance world. If my mishaps and theories don’t directly help answer any of your insurance related questions, I promise they’ll make you laugh, albeit at my expense…

If you would like me to discuss a specific topic, feel free to email me at [email protected].

Today our topic is:

Road Rage and the Common Man

Road Rage always seems such a distant concept. There are many crazy people on the road, but you always hope that you will not meet them in your travels.

There are two environments that seem to enhance the possibility of Road rage. The first is crowded states. If you look at the states/territories from Massachusetts to Washington DC, you find some of the worst instances of problem drivers. This is understood because the more people you have on the road, the more people you will encounter that have some kind of emotional driving impairment. Such impairments can run the gamut from slow driving, to text driving, to drunk driving, to overly cautious driving and finally, just having a bad day. Whenever you put so many people on age old roads that are constantly clogged with traffic you see the levels of intolerance climb. Similarly, if you find yourself in another area of the country where there is an unusual density of population, you find a fertile ground for road rage, a good example of this is the Los Angeles vicinity where there are just too many cars and not enough freeway, although the freeways can be 20 lanes across in some areas.

The second most common locations for traffic violations per person, is oddly enough in the very unpopulated areas of the country like Wyoming, Utah, Idaho; where due to the lack of people on the road, the breaching of speed limits by a wide margin and the likelihood of notyielding are very common. It is perhaps understandable that when you are looking 30 miles ahead from one mountain to another and you see no one on the road, you might be inclined to speed and might accidentally or purposely miss cautionary signs that allow others to enter the roadway.

Each of these two environments lends itself to road rage situations. On the one hand you have people who are irritated because they do not want to share the road with so many drivers, and on the other hand drivers that do not want to share the road because they are used to being the only one using it. This just demonstrates that it is more the drivers, than the road conditions that dictate road rage.

So what can we learn from this? Many articles have been written on the subject of Road Rage and its cause and effect. However, if you approach the scenario as a driver problem, you can learn how to protect yourself.

Basically, you need to be aware of the vehicles around you and look out for erratic or unexpected movements in your vicinity. There are so many different maladies that can befall individuals and cause them to have a bad day that there is no reason to try to look for logic or equity in what is happening on the road, or in another driver. Armed with this knowledge, you should always employ these techniques when you are confronted with a crazy driver or a potential road rage scenario.

Avoid Participating in Road Rage:

  1. Aggressive Behavior: Please do not compound or escalate the issues by driving aggressively yourself. This will only mathematically increase the chances that an accident will occur.
  2. Eye Contact: Do not make eye contact with the perpetrator, this feeds their zeal for action, continue your safe driving techniques and try not to look in the direction of the problem driver.
  3. Hand Gestures: Please do not engage in motions or actions that will serve to enrage the offending driver. While it may make you feel better and show, in your mind, that you are smarter, it will not cause you to be safer.
  4. Speed Up or Slow Down: Depending on the situation, it may be better to either get in front of or behind the offending driver. One needs to make this assessment at the time, and it should be made to reduce risk.

Remember: It takes two to tango. If you are careful not to enrage and engage, and to employ your good driving skills, you can manage your way through most road rage situations.

Have fun out there!

About David Thompson

David Thompson is President and CEO of eINSURE Services, Inc. Dave is on the Board of Directors of AmerInst Insurance Group, Bermuda and is Chairman of the Underwriting Committee, as well as co-inventors of RINITS, a new insurance securitization product. He has a history of creating successful new ventures in the insurance business.