Road rage in america: a growing safety concern
The alarming increase of road rage is playing a big role in more accidents in the US.
You might notice a few people tailgating, honking their horns repetitively or cutting you off for no good apparent reason. These are some common forms of road rage and you might be surprised to hear that 80% of drivers exhibit some form of road rage while 8% percent will act upon it. Doctors have officially deemed it as Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Some people seem to get a kick by drawing a reaction and in the end, one driver will attempt to basically strike fear into the other driver or send a message.
Road rage is defined as the anger or stress caused while operating a motor vehicle but it almost goes to a whole new level when those people choose to use their automobile as a weapon. Some causes for road rage include the following: the anonymity, running late, frustrating traffic, having no concern for the law and possibly being a little mentally unstable. Dash cam footage of crazy drivers on YouTube has given us a whole new insight on road rage behavior and it allows us to witness the fury on the streets like never before. Here are a few notable cases.
Biker vs Pickup Incident
This is an example of the kind of road rage you're more likely to encounter in the US and it raises questions about how you should handle the situation. Drivers in America are more likely to pull out guns during confrontations than most countries. Even if a gun wasn’t in the car, other cases of road rage will show just about anything in the car can be used as a weapon.
A pickup driver in Henderson, Nevada felt threatened by a group of bikers who were waiting at a traffic light next to him and pulled out a handgun to show at least one of them that he meant business. The pickup driver was shown with a Texas license plate so maybe the biker could have approached with more caution.
The biker pulled up near the passenger's side and knocked on his window to find out why the man in the red truck was flipping them off. The knocking must have startled him because that was when he pulled out the gun and pointed it at the biker. The two exchanged obscenities but luckily, no one came out injured here . After the whole ordeal was over with, the biker posted the entire event on his YouTube channel and recently, it was pulled off possibly for excessive profanity. Some existing news clips of the ordeal are still online.
A Tank on the Loose
The last person you want to encounter with road rage is a person in a tank. In San Diego, California, 1995, a mentally unstable person was able to hijack a tank from a nearby military institution. Mental instability is one cause for road rage already but when a tank gets used, the unpredictability of the situation becomes amplified. This 60-ton steel machine posed quite the threat for police trying to stop it. A spike strip definitely wouldn’t work against treads and bullets would simply bounce off.
The tank left a path of destruction as it ran over parked cars, leaving them in piles of scrap metal. The insane driver ran over power lines and almost drove straight through a house. He later went on the freeway and attempted to drive into oncoming traffic! This would render him immobile as the tank became stuck. Overestimating the power of the machine, he tried to drive over the central divider, but he turned out to be a sitting duck.
A bulldozer was constructed to cause as much destruction as possible and someone with an extreme case of road rage was set on making that happen. A man named Marvin Heemeyer in Granby, Colorado leveled a few buildings one after another. The man spent much time to himself wielding something mysterious away from onlookers. It featured several cameras and modifications to make sure it was going to be a long day for police. He had one thing on his mind; complete demolition of the city. It goes to show you that you don’t even need to be in a car to be a victim of aggressive driving.
In June of 2004, the angry man carried out his serious grudge against a lot of local people, the police, and businesses. The bulldozer cut through buildings like a knife through butter and his heavy vehicle was resistant to armor-piercing bullets. This destruction device with half-inch steel plate armor seemed nearly indestructible and certainly not street legal. He even wrecked the town hall and the police department of the small city. Another bulldozer tried to stop him but was unsuccessful, which left many without hope that he would be stopped. Finally, his engine gives up but not after causing 7 million dollars worth of damage. Luckily, everyone besides the driver made it out okay.
Even though these are some extreme, worst possible cases of road rage, it’s an important reminder of just how pointless road rage is in the end and how over the top people can get. Everyone gets stuck in traffic occasionally and is it really important enough to put your life or others at risk over a meaningless dispute?You might get the impression that the people who are constantly tailgating or weaving through traffic wish they were just driving a bulldozer or a tank to get to their destination.
Experts feel as though many road rage confrontations can be simply avoided by not making eye contact and just by getting out of the way when you’re being tailgated. You have to think of them like that kid who always wants attention. When you ignore them and don’t give them the reaction they’re looking for, you can take away that satisfaction they get from road rage!