Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

April 8, 2015

Road Rage

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 7:00 am

It happened again the other day!  It happens often.  You have experienced it.  It is called road rage.

The driver followed close behind.  There was traffic in both lanes.  I admit there was no car in front of me.  I was not trying to aggravate the impatient driver behind me . . . but I was dead-on the speed limit.  And I am not one prone to speeding or being intimidated to the extent that I do break the law.

There was never a break in the other lane for me to merge and pull over.  After a few minutes of serious tailgating, the driver was making gestures from his driver’s seat.  He then begins to blink his headlights.  That is followed with his rolling down his window and sticking his arm out the window and making all kinds of gestures and motions.

I just held my cool and refused to respond.  His actions are called road rage.  Imagine what might have occurred if I had responded to his anger

Anger . . . that is the root of road rage.  And if the other driver wants to act like a jerk, it does not mean I have to act like one.  Studies about this behavior calls for some anger management.  Now, I am no psychologist  and I am not equipped to analyze the anger of the person exhibiting road rage, but like me, you probably remark that the driver is mad about something!

There is nothing wrong with anger – it is a natural, human emotion.  But it must serve us for good rather than control us for bad.  Research shows that the anger driving the driver behind you is a person more likely to smoke, drink to excess, eat badly, and less likely to exercise.  These habits indicate the person does not have control of his life.

One of my first thoughts when I see such rage coming from a driver is what is his behavior at home?  I imagine a spouse, even children, becoming the brunt of his anger.  That truly burdens me.

Now I can speak of anger.  There was a time when such anger was part of my personality.  I often found myself in a scuffle or fight all because of my anger.  I would blow my horn again and again if the driver in front of me at a traffic signal did not begin to pull away immediately when the signal changed.  I would even fight at ball practice with my fellow teammates  I confess I was a person of anger.

But I am so thankful all that changed as a young man.  When I totally surrendered my life to the control of Jesus Christ,  I soon realized that I never got angry.  Yes, Christ did a marvelous thing in my life.  That is not to say I am tolerant of other people’s action toward me at times, but it is not anger or rage.  There are other ways to deal with such.  Patience is an answer to anger.

Again, I am not a psychologist, but could I give some suggestions to avoid a confrontation or dangerous reaction from that angry driver?

(1) Keep calm, don’t be intimidated, and control your emotions.  (2)If being tailgated, move over to another lane if possible.  (3) Don’t’ return gestures to the driver.  (4) If necessary on a single lane road, turn off into a neighborhood or some roadside business where there would be people if the driver decided to follow you.  (5) Never make eye contact with the person when they do go around you.  (6) And once around you, don’t speed up and stay behind the person.

Road rage can cause injury . . . even death.  You see such reports on the news often.  It takes two for an encounter.  Again, you cannot control the anger or behavior of the person behind you, but you can control your response to his actions.

Oh, one other thing!  Road rage is also seen in women!

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”  (Ecclesiastes 7:9)  “A quick-tempered man does foolish things.”  (Proverbs 14:17)

Lawson

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