A Wonder Bread truck driver was arrested Monday by the Utah Highway Patrol after a road rage incident on Interstate 15 in Weber County. A Roy family traveling in a Mazada 6 were approached from behind by the 24-year-old driver who began tailgating them. In response, the Mazda slowed down but the driver could not get out of the way of the truck because of other vehicles.
The frustrated truck driver screamed profanities and made obscene hand gestures. When the driver of the Mazda returned the hand gestures, the truck driver pulled out a pistol and began waving it at the occupants of the Mazda. The Mazda driver called police and the truck driver was arrested after he left the highway. He was booked into jail on suspicion of several traffic violations and one weapons charge.
According to an article that appeared on drivers.com, there are several tips for avoiding road rage incidences:
- don’t take traffic problems personally
- avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver
- don’t make obscene gestures ("that makes you a player and suddenly it begins to escalate")
- don’t tailgate
- use your horn sparingly (the polite honk can be misinterpreted)
- don’t block the passing lane (some drivers think you’re doing something to them when you do this)
- don’t block the right hand turn lane
Some other tips:
- As stress expert Dr. John Larson points out, drivers tend to put themselves in a stress bind by constantly trying to beat the clock on their trips rather than enjoying the journey. When we do this, Larson says, everything that interferes with our self-imposed time goals becomes an object of frustration, and potentially rage. So, allow adequate time for your trip.
- Create a relaxing and comfortable environment in your car. Play relaxing music (with a beat slower than your heartbeat, one music aficionado suggested).
- Traffic is a cooperative activity. When you behave cooperatively, you get repaid in kind. If you’re aggressive, you trigger in others a natural instinct to fight back and drivers will often try to thwart your progress (not let you into a line of traffic, for example). If you’re diplomatic, you will be able to move through traffic with amazing ease. Sometimes drivers will go out of their way to help you. Driving in congested traffic is really a challenge to your diplomatic skills, and your ability to communicate effectively with others
- If you do happen to catch sight of aggressive driving, stay away and contact the authorities when you get the chance. Even if you’re not being chased down the highway by a sideswiping maniac, you could be saving a life other than your own.
Be on the lookout and be careful.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.