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Rush Hour Rage Essay, Research Paper

Rush Hour Rage

When you wake up in the morning feeling refresh and ready to start a new day, you should automatically realize that there is a problem. You roll over in bed and look at the alarm clock and unsurprisingly enough you re late! You hop out of bed and run to the bathroom, only to find that there is no hope of you looking presentable and finally give up and throw on some clothes. You run downstairs ready to go and here we go again, you can t find your keys. You make a mad dash throughout the house searching every drawer and table until you finally find them right where you first looked. You run out of the house, get in your car, and enter the rat race of early morning rush hour traffic. Every traffic light catches you and every ignorant driver seems to be in front of you. You dodge the cars, hopping lanes as quickly as you can. Up ahead you see a light turn yellow. You just know that you can beat the red light and race ahead. Stomping the accelerator you speed through the intersected just in time, only to get caught by a traffic jam on the next block. You just sit there, staring at your watch. You blow the horn and give the finger, but no one seems to care. You are experiencing the full-blown symptom of a classic case of ROAD RAGE. Road rage is any display of aggression by a driver (Joint 1). This has become an epidemic in the United States over the past few years.

Many times the causes of road rage are things that we can fix ourselves. Road rage is a psychological behavioral problem to which most people are susceptible at some time in their life. Even the most levelheaded person can loose their cool while driving. Although there are degrees of road rage, any aggressive act that is directed toward another driver is classified as road rage. The most common causes are things that we do everyday, even though most of the time we do not realize our actions. The leading cause of road rage is tailgating. Tailgating is defined as following to closely to the car in front of you. When you tailgate, you make the driver in the car ahead nervous, which often makes them angry. Then when you finally get to pass the car, he will probably give you the finger. This is another major contributing factor to road rage. Simply a rude gesture can often make people angry. Although it may not seem too aggressive, flashing your high-beams at oncoming traffic can really get you into trouble. People simply do not enjoy being blinded by someone else. The last major contributing factor to road rage is lane hopping. Lane hopping is the act of changing lanes often and quickly in order to pass slower moving traffic. Many times others cause the lane hopping simply because they will not move into the right lane after passing. These few factors are the major factors that make people angry and lead to road rage.

It is every driver s responsibility to help control road rage. The best way to reduce road rage is to start with your self. While driving down the road, be sure to retain your attention to your surroundings. This alone can cut down on mistakes that will make others angry. When following other cars, be sure to maintain the safe following distances that are listed in the driver s manual. In other words, simply do not tailgate. You should never use your fingers as weapons, because the words which the middle finger represents can come back to haunt you later down the road. Always plan a route before you get onto the road. This will help you and others having to be on the road with you. The best thing to remember is that the left lane is not yours to keep; give it up when someone else wants to pass. When you think about your actions, you can reduce the stress on others. Therefore, if you and everyone else is responsible for yourselves, we can all be sure to have a safe and pleasant driving experience.

There are also many factors that cannot be prevented on a personal basis. One of the main, uncontrollable, causes of road rage is traffic congestion. According to the Federal Highway Administration, almost 70% of freeways are congested (The Subcommittee on Surface Transportation 1). The miles of roadways have increased by 1%, whereas the numbers of cars traveling those roadways have increased 35% (The Subcommittee on Surface Transportation 1). With these numbers being true, roadways are backed up across the country and there is no solution in sight. Not only are the roads congested, they are also dilapidated. Potholes and cracked pavement can be seen throughout the United States roadways. A huge problem for drivers is the number of unlicensed drivers that are on the roads. These drivers are untested, therefore they are unqualified to be driving an automobile. These uncontrollable factors can often be more frustrated for drivers than any, simply because they cannot control them.

These uncontrollable factors must be taken care of by local and state governments. On a corporate level, better driver education could solve many problems. Officials need to incorporate road rage education into basic driver education classes, with follow-up classes after citations are received. With more law enforcement personnel dedicated to stopping uneducated and unlicensed drivers, people could start focusing on their own driving skills instead of someone else s. Most importantly, road development is needed nationally. Everywhere in the United States could use more roadways. This would eventually lead to less congestion and stress for everyone. Before the government actually builds new roads, they actually need to take a look around at preexisting road conditions. Simply repairs in a timely manner would help the flow of traffic and relieve tension. Local and state governments can help control road rage, if not in a direct manner, such as writing citations and road blocks, then by road repair and construction. Less tension and stress can be obtained by actions taken on the corporate level.

The goal of the Untied States of America needs to be to reduce the number of cases of road rage each year. By making everyone aware of the problem and offering education on how to stop road rage, we can end this epidemic. By managing road rage, both on personal and corporate levels, we can save lives. The road is no place for violence or aggressiveness. If we can make everyone see this, then we can make a difference. Accept personal responsibility while driving and hopefully others around you will also. As years progress, new roads will be built and those roads will soon become overcrowded. No matter how much the government does to prevent contributing to road rage, it all depends on the operator of the vehicle us. By working together, both on personal and corporate levels, we can make the roadways and the United States a safer place to drive and live.

Works Cited

Matthew Joint. Road Rage: The Automobile Association. March 1995. http://www.aaafts.org/Text/research/agdrtext.htm

The Subcommittee on Surface Transportation. Road Rage: Causes/Solutions http://www.house.gov/transportation/surface/sthearin/ist717/ist717.htm

CNN Road Rage runs rampant in high-stress U.S. society. July 18, 1997, 1-7 U.S. Story Page. http://www.CNN.com


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