Summer is in full swing and everyone wants to enjoy some fun in the sun.
Florida is a favorite summer vacation spot for many road-trippers. However, increased traffic on the road mixed with 90 degree heat can leave you feeling on edge. As such a popular destination, Florida is no stranger to gridlock and heavy traffic. Unfortunately, this sometimes has negative consequences. Road rage is a consistent problem on Florida roads and officials say it’s getting worse.
Understanding the symptoms of road rage
If you live Tampa Bay, you know bad traffic. On I-4, Dale Mabry, Hillsborough Ave., Howard Frankland and elsewhere on 275, chances are you’ve experienced the nerve-wracking and infuriating traffic congestion. Traffic congestion and heat, especially when it’s combined with an influx of out-of-state drivers can raise tensions high. You may have even been involved in a heated exchange with another driver. For many, it’s not an unfamiliar situation. But what happens when a heated exchange escalates into a full-blown physical altercation?
Road rage can quickly lead to a dangerous situation, not only for the parties involved, but other drivers on the road as well.
An increasing issue
Officials say cases of road rage are increasingly seen as an issue. A recent Miami Herald article states that South Florida-an area very familiar with traffic congestion-has been experiencing an increase in road rage-related incidents. Many of these disputes end in property damage, bodily harm and personal injury, or death.
The Florida Department of Transportation has reported that, between the years 2011-2015, aggressive-driving related fatalities increased 12 percent.
Preventing road rage
As roads get busier and more distractions are introduced to drivers, road rage incidents are bound to continue increasing. Although congestion can make you want to rip your hair out, it’s important to takes steps to keep an incident from escalating.
Here’s what you can do as a driver:
- Report aggressive driving
- If someone is driving erratically or dangerously, report them to the police or highway patrol.
- Don’t engage with an angry driver
- If a driver becomes enraged with you or another driver at a traffic stop, do not attempt to engage them or retaliate. This is what often leads to physical altercations and injury
- Avoid distractions while driving
- You need to know your surroundings at all times while driving. Avoid texting, talking on the phone, or anything else that takes your eyes off the road. This is especially important if you are driving on unfamiliar roads.
Road rage prevention is something that everyone needs to play a part in. Keeping a level head while driving is not only safe for you and your passengers, but for everyone else on the road. Be courteous, be alert and get where you are going safely.