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Prevent Road Rage
Prevent Escalation
If you are looking for protection from the road rage of others, your best protection is to:

  Stay in the car
  Do not respond with an angry gesture or action
  Keep a "SORRY" sign in the car and use it when needed


Make a "SORRY" Sign

According to a regional survey conducted by Drs. Arnold P. Nerenberg and R. Jerry Adams, over half of drivers in the USA suffer from road rage.   The average number of incidents per road rager is 27.   That means that most of us will encounter road ragers many times in our lives.   Road rage can lead to injuries or even death.   The U.S. Highway Safety Office has testified to Congress that tens of thousands of accidents each year can be linked directly to aggressive driving, including road rage, and is now a leading cause of death for young children.

A road rager can become upset because you accidentally cut in front of him or her, or other reasons that were not intentional.   A key factor in reversing the process is an apology.   Over 85 percent of road ragers said that they would drop the matter if the other "careless" driver simply apologized.   Instead, road ragers claim, the "careless" driver seems to be unconcerned about what they just did and, therefore, needs to be taught a lesson.

In a car, only one method is effective in conveying an apology: A sign.   We have found that it is very effective in warding off anger.   In fact, many drivers actually smile when we raise a "SORRY" sign to them after we have accidentally done something wrong.   We keep a "SORRY" sign in the map holder on the driver's door and the passenger's door.   It could also be kept under the sun visor if it is fastened with a clip or rubber band so that it doesn't hit you in the face when the visor comes down.


How to Make a "SORRY" Sign

The lettering should be thick, such as "arial rounded bold," and about 1 1/2" high.   The lettering should be black and the background should be white.   Print it on card stock and then cut each sign to an overall height of about 3 inches.   Leave a margin of 1/4" above the lettering and 1" below.   (The inch of space under the lettering is so that your hand does not cover the letters when you are showing the sign.)   If you print it on regular paper, then you can have it laminated at a small business service center, such as Kinko's.   If you laminate, cut the four corners a little to make them rounded and less sharp.   Each completed sign should be approximately 8 1/2" wide by 3" high.   A sample graphic is available by clicking Here.


  SORRY 


If it is night time, you may need to turn on your car's ceiling light so the other driver, the one that is upset, can see your sign.

Warning: Use of common sense is essential in responding to road rage incidents. Quite often, getting out the sign or turning on the light will be a serious distraction from safe driving. If using the "Sorry" sign makes your driving unsafe, do not do it! Practice in using the sign when the car is not moving, such as in your driveway, will help to make use of it safer and easier. Practice will also help you determine whether using the sign in a particular situation will be more dangerous than not doing so.

Start a Road Rage Prevention Campaign

Schools can start a road rage prevention campaign in many ways.  For example:

Enlist local merchants to sponsor the purchase of one hundred or more signs with the understanding that each of those signs will have the merchant's logo, name and address on the back.

Have students sell "SORRY" signs door-to-door and include information on preventing road rage with the signs.   The money from the sale of the signs could go toward purchasing more signs or to support the school's other programs.

Provide each student in driver's education with two "SORRY" signs, along with information on why the signs are important to use.

Get a local radio station to sponsor the purchase of "SORRY" signs (with the understanding that a station logo will go on each sponsored sign) and to make announcements about the importance of preventing road rage.

Develop "SORRY" sign templates, along with information on road rage prevention, and pass them out so that students and their parents can cut out the templates for use in their cars.

Develop a road rage prevention curriculum for inclusion in health classes, driver's education, or other classes.

More on Road Rage
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