Auto Insurance and the Dangers of Road Rage

We've all experienced it to some degree: the near uncontrollable fury known as road rage. A few sleepless nights, stressful work situations or life events, and some jerk cutting you off in traffic is the perfect recipe for disaster. Uncontrolled road rage is dangerous, and can lead to tickets, accidents, hikes in car insurance premiums, accidents, or even death.

How Your Body Reacts

Your body reacts to road rage in a number of ways, which can result in your impaired driving. Here are some of the things that happen when you experience extreme anger:

    • Your flight-or-fight response is triggered. Your body speeds up your heart rate, raising your blood pressure. It also dumps extra adrenaline and oxygen into your system, which can leave you feeling jittery.

    • You can't see straight. "So mad you can't see straight" is a popular idiom for good reason. All that extra oxygen and adrenaline produce a tunnel vision effect that negates your peripheral vision. This means you're less likely to see the person in the lane next to you, or another vehicle that's only visible in your side mirrors.

    • The fight-or-flight mechanism every human being is hardwired with also dims the reasoning centers of the brain. You're far less likely to make rational decisions while experiencing road rage. You're also much more likely to speed.

Preventing Road Rage

There are some steps you can take both before and after the fact to help mitigate road rage.

    • Plan ahead. Schedule extra time in your commute in case of potential delays.

    • Get a good night's sleep. It's easier to control your emotions when you're well rested.

    • Eat a good breakfast. Blood sugar can play a major role in regulating mood.

    • Use your drive time productively. Listen to relaxing or uplifting music, or listen to an audio book. If you feel you're not wasting your time sitting in traffic, it will be easier to remain calm.

Dealing with Excessive Anger

What if you're already running late to work after no breakfast and a night of tossing and turning, and the obscene gesture from the guy who just cut you off is the last straw? Try these suggestions to make driving safer for both you and other motorists:

    • Pull over. If you do have tunnel vision, pull over and take a moment to compose yourself before continuing on.

    • Call ahead. Knowing you have an extra few minutes can help you calm down.

    • Focus on breathing. Count your breaths, breathing deeply and slowly.

    • Use cruise control. It can keep you from having a lead foot.

How Road Rage Affects Others

According to the National Safety Council, the cost to society due to speeding-related crashes is $1,281 - per second. That doesn't include what it may cost you if you lose your insurance. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2011 says that 30% of all fatal crashes were related to speeding. For safety reasons and for the sake of hanging on to low auto insurance rates, practice safe driving and fight the road rage urge.

Learn ...

10 Things That Annoy Other Drivers

Keep your good rates and make other drivers happy by avoiding these 10 annoyances that can make other drivers crazy when they're on the road with you.

The Dangers of Road Rage

Your insurance can be affected by how you deal with road rage, especially if you notice price hikes when you make costly mistakes that lead to car accidents.

Responsible Teen Drivers

Save money on insurance when you help your kids become responsible drivers by teaching them about the many discounts that are available to them.

Should I Buy a Car for My Teen?

Your insurance is only one factor to consider when you're thinking about whether you should buy your teenager a car or not. Here's a look at some other considerations.

Get in Touch