OKLAHOMA CITY – Road rage incidents in Oklahoma can be as harmless as the honk of a horn or as extreme as leading to murder.
According to AAA, at least 15,000 people a year are injured or killed in senseless traffic disputes.
Chris Kirkendall has been traveling the country in an 18-wheeler for 18 years and has come across some pretty angry people behind the wheel.
“Yeah they’re getting mad at me! They’re giving me the finger!” says Kirkendall. “A couple of days ago I actually had a guy flip me off!”
He says lately it’s been worse.
“People just don’t have any patience anymore,” says Kirkendall. “Courtesy is a thing of the past.”
Comerious McDaniel says when someone cuts him off, he feels like he has to let them know he’s angry. He says it always makes him feel better, but he admits he’s never imagined it escalating into a physical altercation.
“No I never thought about that but I do like to relieve my stress by looking at them or just yelling and then I keep on riding,” says McDaniel. “I don’t want to get out and do anything.”
Dr Stewart Beasley calls them road rage-a-holics. They are the drivers who turn into completely different people behind the wheel. He says some may feel they have anonymity in the car and feel more comfortable releasing their anger, but that it’s much safer to get rid of that anger by doing something as simple as exercising.
“Doing something to get rid of the adrenaline that we have in our bloodstream,” says Beasley. “Once it’s down the rage tends to go away and the anger tends to go away.”
Beasley also says while it’s easier said than done, don’t take it personal. You never know who you are provoking.
“Don’t let their road rage turn you into a road rage-a-holic,” says Beasley. “You have to turn loose of that too.”
Dr. Beasley says never engage. Never make contact. Don’t yell out the windows or do anything to make the situation worse.
You have to find ways to get rid of that adrenaline or anger before you get behind the wheel.
If you are being provoked by an angry driver, try and get away from the driver. If you can’t get away, drive somewhere safe like a police or fire station.
Click here for more information on how to avoid aggressive driving.