Police Rapport: Dodging Road Rage

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It’s estimated that road rage is a factor in more than half of fatal crashes in the country, according to AAA. 

“It all starts with us. As the driver, before we leave home, we want to make sure we leave early,” said Sgt. Gene Page with the Bentonville Police Department. 

Not being in a rush can keep our stress level low, minimizing the chance for road rage.

“Driving has become a competition and we have to remind ourselves that it’s not a competition. We’re just trying to get to our point safely,” said Sgt. Page. 

According to a 2016 AAA study, many drivers admitted having let their anger take the best of them by either being the aggressor or reacting to an aggressive driver.

“One, you have the potential to have vehicle damage or violating roadway or traffic laws but you also have that fear of being hurt yourself by this other person,” said Sgt. Page. 
 
The main road rage offenses are cutting drivers off, driving slowly in the left lane, tailgating, and gesturing.

“Some us are very animated when drive and when we speak when you do that inside the vehicle the other person can’t hear what you’re saying they just see all the gestures and that may be taken the wrong way,” said Sgt. Page. 

The last thing you want to do is confront the aggressor. 

“You don’t know if they’re under the influence of a drug or some type of substance, you don’t know if they’re armed,” said Sgt. Page. 

Instead, be calm and keep your eyes on the road even if the aggressive driver pulls up next to you. 

“The vehicle can actually be like a weapon. We gotta be really, really safe, very careful when we’re driving and remember that emotions can actually come out through the vehicle and put people at risk,” said Sgt. Page. 

If at one point you begin feeling uncomfortable, it’s time to call police.

If you have a topic you would like Gene and Jennifer to look into email Jennifer at jpenate@knwa.com.

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