FROM THE DESK OF SHERIFF CARMINE MARCENO: AGGRESSIVE DRIVING, ROAD RAGE ON THE RISE

The growth of population and the increased traffic that accompanies such growth appears to generate a rise in patterns of driver frustration. Sprinkle in the additional stressors of a pandemic, inflation and other the other tensions that most of us experience and you have a recipe for “road rage.”

Some drivers engage in aggressive, careless and unsafe operation of their vehicle.  Behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, weaving through traffic, horn-honking and abrupt lane-changing prompt “high-anger drivers” to react poorly to this manner of driving.

Many of these incidents can be avoided. Consider:

  • Changing lanes when being tailgated.  While tailgating is unsafe and a ticketable offense, you need not allow it to escalate into an incident.
  • Allowing others to pass. 
  • If another driver uses inappropriate finger gestures, ignore them.
  • Avoid eye contact.  Many reports indicate that eye contact escalates these “ragers.”
  • Attempt to remain behind angry drivers.  You are far less likely to be injured if you do so.
  • Never exit your vehicle to confront another driver.
  • Pull off of the road, if necessary.  When doing so, utilize well-lit, populated areas.  Create space between your vehicle and theirs by allowing them to leave the scene.
  • Contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office or local law enforcement should you feel threatened or unsafe.

These incidents will continue to occur.  A simple driving error may prompt anger and violence.  However, calm and non-antagonistic behavior can usually deescalate an incident.  Be courteous, non-confrontational and mature while operating your vehicle.

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