The holidays are such a fun time of the year. They are a chance to get together with friends and family members who have been dearly missed for the last year. With everyone wanting to visit someone, a whole lot of travel is involved with the holiday season. Unfortunately, that fact, combined with the cold and stormy weather, can cause quite a bit of travel trouble.
When the roads get packed with people, tensions can run high. Road rage becomes a very real possibility in what is supposed to be a fun and relaxing time. No one wants to deal with road rage on an average day, let alone around the holidays.
Tips for Avoiding Road Rage
In order to help everyone have a happy holiday season while driving around, here are some tips on how to best avoid road rage.
- Be courteous when driving. Use turn signals and always check blind spots before merging. Doing this can very easily prevent an accident, or an almost accident, which will help everyone remain calm.
- Don’t drive while upset. Studies have shown that the people most likely to suffer from road rage are those who are already emotionally unstable before they get behind the wheel. If a person was just in a bad fight or breakup, then they shouldn’t drive.
- Don’t give obscene gestures. Spreading anger around, by doing things such as flipping people off, only makes other drivers angry, which makes the whole situation worse for everyone.
- Don’t go home if followed. If an aggressive driver is following someone, that person should not go home and instead head to the nearest law enforcement station and call the authorities to alert them to the situation.
- Don’t rush yourself. When it comes to driving, there are many things a driver can’t control, such as accidents and rush hour. Instead of trying to rush to get to somewhere on time, a driver sometimes needs to accept the fact that they are going to be late due to forces beyond their control.
- Don’t try to teach a lesson. Don’t speed up to block aggressive drivers from merging since doing that can make things worse. Instead, leave plenty of room for the driver to merge and move on. Take the high road, so to speak.
- Everyone makes mistakes. For the time being, every driver out there is human. This means that every driver, including yourself, is bound to make a mistake or two. Don’t hold it against them.
- Give yourself extra time. If a driver knows they are going to encounter traffic, they should leave for their destination earlier than they normally would to give themselves plenty of time.
- Listen to calm music. Doing this simple task has been shown to help calm drivers down, reducing their chances of succumbing to road rage.
- Never engage aggressive drivers. If an angry driver gets out of their car to talk to someone else, the other driver should not get out of their own vehicle. Aggressive drivers can be unpredictable due to their rage and may try to hurt other drivers. Instead, call the police for assistance.
- Only use horns for defensive driving. An example of this would be when a driver is merging but hasn’t noticed your car being in the way.
- Report aggressive drivers. If a driver is driving recklessly and angrily, report them to the proper authorities. Doing so could prevent them from causing an accident or hurting someone.
Getting Arrested for Road Rage
While road rage itself is not a crime, there are four different crimes that a person can end up committing if they give in to road rage here in California. These four crimes are:
- Assault with a deadly weapon. This is the same as assault, except a deadly weapon is involved, and guess what, a car can count as a deadly weapon. This means that threatening to run someone over is a crime. This can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense. As a felony it comes with up to 4 years in state prison.
- Assault. This occurs when someone threatens to harm another individual and the other person believes that threat. This is a misdemeanor offense that comes with up to 6 months in jail and a max fine of $1,000.
- Battery. Battery occurs when someone actually attacks another individual. This crime starts as a misdemeanor that comes with up to 6 months in jail and a max fine of $2,000. However, if someone is seriously injured, there will be harsher consequences.
- Reckless driving. Driving without regard for safety is a crime that often results in misdemeanor charges that come with a 90 day jail stay and a max fine of $1,000. If someone is hurt due to the reckless driving, the consequences get even worse.
Drive Safely This Holiday Season
The holiday season is supposed to be fun and relaxing, unfortunately there is a whole lot of traffic to wade through. As frustrating as traffic can be, it should be expected around this time of year. This means drivers should prepare to deal with traffic so they are less likely to give in to road rage.
A great way to do that is by following the tips above. Doing that can also help keep a driver from getting into trouble with the law around the holidays. Nobody wants that.