Road Rage And Conflict Resolution

When was the last time someone cut you off with a quick lane change on the Interstate? Did you curse them or give them the “finger”? Maybe someone dashed into that prime parking spot just ahead of you. Or, that sports car was tailing you just a little too closely, so you tap on your brakes? Chances are none of these incidents resulted in death or even physical violence. However, recent events remind us that road rage remains a serious problem on our highways. The criminal defense lawyers in Woburn can help in case of accidents.

Former NFL Football player, Will Smith, who won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints, was recently shot and killed in an apparent road rage incident in New Orleans. In its article on Smith, USA Today reported that this was our country’s third high profile road rage incident in less than a week. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data tells us that road rage or aggressive driving were reported as a factor in 375 fatal crashes that resulted in 418 deaths in 2014.  A recent survey by the AAA “found 87% of respondents said they believed aggressive drivers were a ‘somewhat’ or ‘very serious’ threat to their personal safety.”

It sounds like we all need to refer back to our basic driver training courses. However, some have suggested that solving the road rage problem has more to do with psychology than driving skills. Jeff Asher, a crime data consultant, was quoted in the USA Today article as saying, “It’s about conflict resolution. It starts in childhood, with education. Teaching people to resolve their conflicts peacefully.”

Asher makes a good point. Perhaps our schools could do a better job of educating our kids about conflict resolution. Perhaps our churches could do a better job of reminding us that “blessed are the peacemakers.” Perhaps each of us could individually do a better job of keeping the peace, both in our personal lives and while driving on our highways. The next time you get cut off in traffic, perhaps the best advice is to count to ten and move along.