AUSTIN, Texas. Most of us have been there from time to time. Another driver cuts you off, honks at you, or refuses to budge when the red light turns green. You start to get angry. Really angry. Where does this feeling come from, and why is it so powerful?
According to a neuroscientist writing for the Independent, driving has the potential to trigger such strong emotions because when we are driving, we can feel threatened. Driving is the one situation in modern life where we put our lives at risk on a daily basis. At an unconscious level, we know that every time we get behind the wheel, we can die. There are two main systems at work in the brain. There’s the conscious brain, that’s usually in charge as we go about our workdays, make decisions, and have conversations. Then, there’s the hypothalamus, which is in charge of managing our primal drives, like eating, drinking, and sex. The hypothalamus can also trigger the fight response when we feel threatened. One of the reasons why we might feel the urge to react angrily or even violently while driving might have much to do with the fact that these automatic brain processes are being triggered.
However, these automatic responses can result in deadly crashes. According to the Insurance Information Institute, an estimated 56 percent of fatal crashes may be the result of road rage or aggression. While it is difficult to directly link crashes with road rage or aggression, we definitely know some of the signs of road rage and aggressive driving. These behaviors include: following too closely, changing lanes erratically, passing illegally, running red lights or stop signs, failing to yield, failing to signal, speeding, racing to pass, and honking when not necessary. Unfortunately, when drivers act aggressively, accidents can occur, changing lives forever.
So, what can we do to prevent road rage and aggression? The good news is that the automatic processes governed by the hypothalamus are not entirely outside our control. The conscious brain can put on the brakes. How can we put on the brakes on aggression? The best thing you can do, is stop, take a deep breath, and remember that other driver’s actions behind the wheel are probably not designed to personally slight you. One exercise that can help you if you find yourself getting angry is to think about the situation from the other person’s perspective. Maybe he or she is rushing to see a dying relative in the hospital, or is running late to work, or is late to pick up his or her children from school.
Still, when road rage or aggressive driving does happen, it can result in deadly or dangerous car accidents. If you or a loved one were hurt due to another driver’s aggressive actions, you may have the right to seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Robson Law Firm are personal injury lawyers in Austin, Texas who may be able to help you seek damages if another driver’s aggression resulted in your crash. You may only have a limited amount of time to seek compensation for your losses. Visit us at https://robsonlawfirm.com/ to learn more about your rights today.
Robson Law Firm
1114 Lost Creek Boulevard
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 345-8200