Driving in Rage: A Student’s Perspective


Everyone knows that feeling, while driving, when they are running late and are rushing to get somewhere but then they reach a stoplight. After a minute or two of waiting, they’re relieved it finally turns green, but the person in front of you is looking down, playing on their phone, causing you to be tardier than they already are? They feel angry, impatient, honk their horn, and probably have a few choice words, which shouldn’t be said aloud, in mind for them.

This feeling, road rage, is innate in us all, but some people choose not to think before they take action, which can be dangerous for a lot of innocent people. Road rage has been around since the world’s most common form of transportation was the horse, but recently road rage has been happening more often, so students and adults must learn better ways to protect themselves in case these incidents might occur.

A dangerous confrontation on Apr. 5, in a Long Island Avenue involved two men, Brett Penny, 48, and Michael Doroski, 25. Penny, according to New York Daily News, got out of his car to confront Doroski, who was reportedly following behind Penny. Their argument soon turned into a struggle which ended with Doroski pulling out a knife and stabbing Penny. After he fled, he turned himself into the police and Penny was flown to the hospital.

Another string of road rage incidents, reported on Mar. 25 on KOAT7 ABC News, happened on Friday in Albuquerque where four violent accidents occurred in the span of four days, each leading to arrests. Mar. 20, Trevor Powles shot a woman about four times after she cut him off on Ellison. Saturday, Joe Moreno shot at a family who had pulled into their driveway on La Vega Road. Sunday, two separate incidents happened on the same day involving Ricky Hamilton, who made angry gestures at a family driving on Iselta, approaching them with a hatchet at a gas station, and Joseph Gonzales, who pointed a gun through his sun roof towards a father and son when they turned their lights on behind him in a Walmart parking lot.

Finally, hitting close to home, a Houston woman, Kay Hafford, 28, was rushed to the hospital after being shot in the back of the neck by a known gang member, Dietrich Evans, 22, because she honked her horn at him. Hafford was able to pull to the side of the road and call the police. She is now hospitalized at Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center.

These incidents occurred because people do not think before they react and control their anger. If people were to just take a breath and calm down, no one would have to die out of anger that someone flashed a light, drove too slow, or honked a horn.

According to MedMalLaws, about 6.8 million crashes occur every year because of aggressive driving. Drivers age 18-24 are 67% more likely to be aggressive. Men are more likely to be aggressive than women, measuring up to 54% of men and 46% of women. Drivers with children are 59% more likely to be aggressive than those without children. In addition, drivers on cell phones are 59% more likely to drive aggressively than those without a cell phone.

A driver should watch out for certain signs of road rage, like running stop signs and red lights, speeding and weaving between lines, passing the right of a vehicle, and making inappropriate hand and facial gestures.

Students who are striving to get their driver’s licenses should learn to be more cautious of their surroundings. To be sure not to anger other drivers, be sure that the phone is put away or turned off to not cause distraction, and if stuck in the middle of a conversation, be sure to type #X, which symbolizes that you are about to drive and the conversation will be resumed later. Watch the speed limit. If you are experiencing problems with your vehicle, turn on your panic lights and move to the side of the road. Do not ever provoke another driver. Remember that your vehicle is a potential deadly weapon which can cause serious or fatal harm to innocent people. Always examine your surroundings; the smallest things can always bring on the heaviest burden.

“I love to drive,” sophomore in college, Mary Gray said. “It’s a part of the cycle of growing up. First we crawl, then we walk, next we ride bikes, and finally, we drive a car. I want to be able to go throughout my life driving, without having to worry if someone is going to hurt me because I’m not driving fast enough. It would be safe if we all just think about things before we take action. It could save a lot of lives.”