Incidences of road rage are a common problem in Alberta and across Canada. Aggressive and discourteous driving can make anyone angry, but as always when driving, it’s your awareness of yourself and your reactions that will help keep things moving smoothly.
Safe and responsible driving habits help lower your auto insurance rates, and always result in more comfortable and enjoyable rides.
The Consequences of Road Rage
The peculiar thing about road rage is that every instance of it is entirely avoidable. And the consequences can range widely. At the very least, your altercation on the road could cause a distraction for yourself and other drivers, and at worst you could cause or be involved in a serious accident.
The leading theory on vehicular violence is that many see our cars as mechanical extensions of ourselves. So when someone behaves badly on the road, it’s common to take it personally. As well, a vehicle provides a sense of anonymity, as well as a false sense of security.
Demographically, most people who indulge in road rage driving practices are below the age of 25, and most of those are men. As such, as is the case in Alberta and across the country, those in this category tend to pay higher auto insurance premiums.
Avoiding Anger Behind the Wheel
Whether you are quick to anger or slow to burn, the key to avoiding a road rage incident is staying calm and remaining aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Perhaps you have been cut off. Or someone has been tailgating you for kilometres. There are several ways to approach such a situation, and most of them are wrong. Any action you take to prolong, or escalate, any type of aggressive encounter with another driver is a mistake.
If you are behind the wheel and feeling enraged by the perceived actions of another driver, you need to immediately breathe deeply and take stock of the actual situation. If something truly dangerous has transpired, your duty to yourself, and to your loved ones, is to be a good witness and reliably report what has happened to the proper authorities. If you act aggressively and damage property or harm people in an ensuing crash, you risk losing your coverage. And never forget that road rage is illegal, and depending on the seriousness of your offense, could result in criminal charges.
If you are prone to angering behind the wheel first, reassess your approach to driving altogether. Before entering your vehicle, take time to breathe deeply and centre yourself. Do your best to remove stressors. If traffic would be slightly less horrible, maybe consider leaving earlier. Plan your routes well in advance, and always leave plenty of time to get to your destination. And if you often drive with your children, remember you are setting an example for them, and ask yourself if you would like them to behave as you are behind the wheel.
Bow Valley Auto, Home and Commercial Insurance
Serving Calgary, Edmonton and greater Alberta, at Bow Valley Insurance we want you to be safe on the road no matter where or how you are travelling. Doing your best to remain calm and aware behind the wheel is a great way to make sure all your trips have a happy ending.
Call us at (403) 297-9400 or 1-800-332-1308 to speak one of our experienced and knowledgeable insurance specialists, or apply for a free quote.