Prevent Road Rage
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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
Keep a "SORRY" sign in the car and use it when
Make a "SORRY"
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
How to Make a "SORRY"
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.
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
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
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
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
© 2011 EDI
and Dr. R. Jerry Adams