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October 28, 2020

Tips To Help Your Teen Avoid Road Rage

October 28, 2020

Seth Smiley here from the Smiley Law Firm with today’s edition of the Parents of Teen Drivers Facebook Group. Today’s topic is something we need to consider “Tips To Help Your Teen Avoid Road Rage.”

Hopefully, this is something that your kids never have to deal with, but dealing with road rage is almost inevitable at some point.

Road rage is something that we all feel at times. I certainly did as a teenager. It might seem trivial, but the stats are real – around a 1,000 people have died in the United States in road rage related incidents over the past decade. It is a real issue that you need to take seriously.

Whether someone is having a bad day or they have major anger issues, it’s a real issue. There are a few things you can do to teach your teens to, hopefully, avoid it.

Being aware of the situation and having the right mindset can be a big help. I can remember various problems as a teen and honking the horn at somebody for changing lanes or not going at the light, and then having that person get out of the car and try to fight or get a bat. It is just not a good situation to be in…

It Was Their Fault, Why Should I Avoid Road Rage?

I blamed the other person, but some of the things that I was doing leading up to that led to the road rage, right?

We want to make sure that teens are planning ahead on their drive. That they are taking their time to get there instead of being in a hurry and needing to speed, rushing for the light, or driving aggressively. 

You always want to make sure that you’re teaching your teen to be calm, which can be challenging for a teen. Everything in the world seems crazy now, but teaching them to remain calm and just let it go is a life lesson and a life skill.

People tend to get angry or frustrated in traffic, and when you’re 18 or 19 years old, you think you know everything, and you can tell that person what they should or should not do. So, make sure your teen learns to stay calm and let the situation pass without incident.

As I mentioned earlier, get your teen to lay off the horn. Horns serve their purpose, and sometimes I still want to lay on the horn now, but we should teach our teens not to do that – there is no need to antagonize other drivers.

If you’ve ever been in that situation where you have done that, and your teen has seen you, it conditions them to think that it is okay. So lead by example!

Another one to look out for is obscene gestures, maybe with hands or face or yelling things at the other person. Your teen drivers want to avoid those things; even if they think the other person can’t hear, they might be able to read the body language. It can potentially lead to a road rage incident.

It’s not necessarily that you or your teen will get so enraged that they are going to harm someone else. You never know who’s in the other car.

People carry guns; they might be drunk or on drugs and do crazy things. They might cut you off in traffic and cause an incident. 

Many things can potentially hurt someone during a road rage incident. In many cases, these people can get away with awful behavior because they may be on an Interstate somewhere where they shove you off the road, and never get in trouble for it. So, it is essential to remember that not all road rage goes accounted for.

Anger is the other person’s issue, so we want to teach our teens that it’s not about you. If they realize that, they can avoid provoking the other driver, and avoid road rage altogether.

It could be that they are having a bad day; they are upset, or whatever. But if you or your teen make it home safe, who cares, right?

No tailgating, don’t cut people off, don’t speed past them, don’t do any of that – just let them go. Let them get out of sight and then move on and live to fight another day.

The last thing that I want to mention is if someone is driving aggressively, perhaps even texting and driving, and swerving around on the Causeway, you should report them.

If you do, it is likely that 10 to 15 minutes later, the Causeway Police will pull them over and do their thing.

If someone is endangering everyone else on the road, your teen needs to know that they must keep the roadway safe, and that includes calling the police.

You don’t want to have someone enraged at you, and then you go to your house, and they follow you home. That is potentially bad and can put your family at risk. You should contact the police in this situation and let them handle any potentially hostile situation.

So, just another way to advocate for teens and keep them safe is to find ways to avoid road rage. You can find some more information here.

If anyone has any input on our topic of “Tips To Help Your Teen Avoid Road Rage,” we love hearing your feedback. Please comment or send me a Direct Message.

Remember that road rage can be a funny situation, but it often develops into something dangerous!

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