Now that the holidays are over, we can get back to being our old, angry selves. How many of us have thought “Let’s just cut the phony business and stop being the nice, caring and giving individuals that we portrayed ourselves to be throughout the holiday season.” Who cares about other people’s feelings? I have feelings of my own to deal with. I noticed that the temporary “niceness” even filtered into driving courtesies until approximately January 1st. As if going back to work wasn’t a big enough let-down, drivers are back to their old cranky selves.

Road rage is the leading cause for accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94% of all traffic accidents are caused by driver error. And, of those accidents, 33% could be linked to behaviors typically assigned to road rage, such as illegal maneuvering or misjudging the intent of another driver. I have asked students in my Comedy Defensive Driving class why everyone seems to be in a big hurry. Most, like me, say they don’t manage their time well. And I could benefit from taking my own advice, but leaving for the big commute earlier will not only save you stress, but will also save you money by not having to pay extra to use costly express lanes. Being in a big rush when others don’t seem to inevitably causes us to tailgate. There are unlimited triggers for causing road rage. Some are typical and obvious. I thought I’d compile a list of the top eight. Perhaps you can add to this list and look for these triggers in your own commute to try to be a kinder, more patient driver.

• Tailgating
• Cutting other people off
• Not signaling before changing lanes or turning
• Not yielding
• Blocking drivers from changing lanes
• Passing on the shoulder
• Talking or texting while driving
• Driving in someone’s blind spot

Sometimes being in a road rage situation is unavoidable. But your best bet is to try to pay attention and not offend other drivers. Be courteous and don’t change lanes unless you have room to. Don’t follow too close and don’t hog the passing lane (the left lane). And hand gestures warrant a good butt-whoopin’.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Road Rage – Comedy Defensive Driving