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How to Stop Road Rage and Help Prevent an Orlando Motorcycle Accident

A recent study was published in the magazine Accident Analysis and Prevention that showed almost half of traffic accidents are caused by some amount of road rage. Anger while riding a bike can be very dangerous to a motorcyclist. Road rage causes people to drive irrationally.

To stay protected against an Orlando motorcycle accident, here are a few rules of thumb to follow so that you can limit your level of road rage:

  • Get plenty of sleep– Drowsy driving is dangerous for a number of reasons. Road rage is one of them. Getting the right amount of sleep can help you control your emotions while battling dense traffic or bad drivers.
  • Leave with enough time to spare– If you are in a hurry, you are more likely to get frustrated and angry when the drivers ahead of you do not go as fast as you would like. Plan ahead and leave with more time before your appointment so that you can be more relaxed while on your bike.
  • Recognize signs of your own road rage– Road rage impacts people differently. Some people find themselves speeding or weaving in between cars, while others find themselves tailgating to prove a point. Recognize your road rage symptoms so that you can quickly put yourself in check if you feel them coming on.
  • Ride sober– Drunk riding is another catalyst for many accidents. If you ride with any amount of alcohol in your system, your senses are impaired and you may get irritated easier. This can cause you to ride erratically

Road rage occurs for any number of reasons: heavy traffic throughout Orlando, especially around peak vacation times; road shutdowns and construction that make it more difficult for you to navigate to your destination safely or to deal with the flow of traffic around you; tourists who have little idea of how to navigate the streets of Orlando safely.

As a motorcycle rider, you may face even more reasons to rage at the other drivers around you, particularly if they cut you off or do not look out for you on the road.

Road rage, however, can have a profound effect. Road rage plays a factor in as many as 50 percent of fatal car accidents. It can prevent you from exercising critical thinking skills or make it much more difficult to remember to stay safe on the road. On the other hand, avoiding road rage cuts your risk of involvement in a fatal accident and helps you protect other drivers.

The Problems With Road Rage

Road rage occurs when a driver experiences anger that leads to dangerous driving behaviors.

Road rage, which is often more likely among young men, can cause drivers to engage in behaviors they should not, including:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Very high speeds
  • Swerving in and out of traffic
  • Ignoring the rules of the road
  • Deliberately blocking another vehicle
  • Deliberately ramming another vehicle

In some cases, road rage can escalate still further. Some raging drivers may follow the driver they feel has wronged them and attack them outside the vehicle.

Road rage substantially increases the risk of an accident, not only for the raging driver but for the others who share the road. Suppose, for example, that another driver cuts you off on your motorcycle. Frustrated by that irritating behavior, especially if you have previously ended up cut off or found yourself in a tight spot due to another driver’s negligence, you may zoom around that driver and cut him off in return. In the meantime, you may find yourself swerving around the road or traveling at unsafe speeds, which significantly raises your risk of an accident.

Avoiding Road Rage as a Motorcycle Driver

As a motorcycle driver, avoiding road rage is critical. Motorcycles have a significantly higher risk of accident per mile than larger passenger vehicles. Due to the lack of protection offered by their vehicles, motorcycle riders may suffer more severe injuries when they get in an accident. Furthermore, motorcycle riders are harder for other drivers to see, increasing their raging behaviors.

Therefore, take steps to reduce your odds of experiencing road rage when you drive in Orlando on your motorcycle.

1. Try to get plenty of sleep before riding your motorcycle.

Drowsy driving poses many dangers, including an increased risk of road rage. Drowsy driving on a motorcycle, which requires considerable attention and focus behind the wheel, can prove even more dangerous. If you plan to head out on your motorcycle, make sure you get adequate sleep the night before. Adequate sleep reduces your odds of a severe adrenaline spike leading to road rage. On the other hand, inadequate sleep can make you feel angrier and more snappish, translating to your behaviors on the road.

2. Leave yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

Due to the high level of tourist traffic through the area, even your GPS may lack the ability to adequately predict the necessary time to reach your destination. Heavy construction throughout the Orlando area may also mean delays, especially if construction workers block off traffic. Many motorcycle riders suffer from steadily increasing stress and even rage as they sit in traffic.

If you know that you have to reach your destination at a specific time, try to leave early. Road rage cannot help you get to your destination faster, and it may end up slowing you down and preventing you from getting to your destination in time.

3. Know your own signs of road rage or frustration.

As a motorcycle rider, you need a solid idea of what causes you to grow frustrated and how to remedy it. Pay attention to symptoms indicating that your rage could increase or that you may need to take a breather. You may notice yourself clenching your jaw, steadily increasing your speed, or starting to breathe harder and heavier as rage and irritation increase.

Get familiar with these signs and symptoms. If you notice your frustration increasing, try to get off the road to relax or talk yourself down. You may need to move away from a driver that causes your frustration to calm down and avoid road rage. If your road rage increases in specific situations, including heavy traffic or tourist days, avoid potential events that could trigger you to face higher frustration.

4. Remain polite on the road.

As a motorcycle rider, you must look out for the other drivers around you rather than relying on them to look out for you. Other drivers may not notice the presence of a motorcycle or may not take steps to ensure your safety. If you want to avoid road rage, including accidentally triggering road rage in another driver, stay polite when dealing with other drivers.

Do not zoom in and out of lanes on Orlando’s highways. Do not split lanes—a practice that remains illegal in Florida—even in stopped traffic. Leave adequate room for other vehicles around you, and do not allow your motorcycle to cross the centerline. Avoid hitting your horn in anger.

By exercising some basic precautions and sharing the road kindly and politely with others around you, you can significantly decrease the risk of road rage in both yourself and other drivers. By maintaining a polite environment for everyone, you can focus on the road, not on your frustration.

5. Avoid engaging with angry drivers.

Despite the array of great family activities available in Orlando, or perhaps because of it, vacation time is frustrating. Often, drivers feel their frustration levels increase during this time.

Do not take other drivers’ angry actions personally. Family members bickering in the car, the long hours on the road to reach a vacation destination, or extremely heavy traffic may have frustrated them. Do not make eye contact with these drivers, and do not let their frustration and anger trigger yours. Instead, keep calm and allow those drivers to continue their journeys.

6. Get away from angry drivers when you can.

Riding a motorcycle can offer several advantages when dealing with potentially raging drivers. Your light, maneuverable vehicle can more easily move through traffic, so you may have more options for dealing with a raging driver. You can choose to change lanes, speed up a little to get away from a driver who has shown high levels of road rage, or fall back in traffic so that a raging driver can get away from you. If you notice a driver giving in to rage, slow down and allow that driver to move away from you.

Do not break the law, including driving aggressively or speeding to get away from a raging driver.

7. Drive to a safe location if a raging driver follows you.

Even the most polite, considerate drivers may commit errors on the road that cause them to rage or even enrage another driver. You may have difficulty getting away from a raging driver, especially one who seems determined to follow you.

If a road raging driver follows you, do not go back to your home or, if you find yourself staying in the Orlando area temporarily, to your hotel. Instead, drive to a safe location with many people. You may drive to the local police department, if possible, to escape the raging driver.

On a motorcycle, you have little to no protection against a raging driver who tries to hit you. You cannot simply stay inside your vehicle and wait for help since you remain out in the open. Get to a safe location where you can get much-needed protection.

8. Try to remember what you enjoy about riding your motorcycle when things get tough.

If you find yourself frustrated or even angry with things happening around you, try to remind yourself what you enjoy most about riding your motorcycle. Do you enjoy the wind rushing by you? The feeling of freedom that you can only get on the back of your motorcycle? Do you love the speed, maneuverability, and convenience that your motorcycle provides?

Keep your attention on these things. Enjoy the often beautiful, warm Orlando weather. Try to keep your cool even in the face of other drivers’ rage or adverse events that slow you down and leave you stuck in traffic. As you focus on the good, you may struggle less with rage in yourself.

What to Do After Facing Road Rage?

Sometimes, you encounter road rage despite your best efforts to avoid it. For motorcycle riders, rage can lead to an accident with serious injuries.

If a raging driver’s careless or reckless behavior injures you, protect yourself immediately.

  • Report the accident. Call the Orlando police or dial 911 to receive immediate help.
  • Get the medical care you need for your injuries. Do not try to shake it off or get back on your motorcycle and ignore your pain. Instead, visit an emergency room or urgent care center to examine your injuries.
  • Contact a lawyer to learn more about your right to compensation. A lawyer can provide you with vital advice about who bears liability for a road rage incident and what steps to take to protect yourself.

Talk to a lawyer before reporting your road rage accident to the insurance company. A lawyer can ensure that you understand your right to compensation and how to deal with the accident’s aftermath, including how you can maximize the compensation you recover for your injuries. Any time you have questions about your rights after a motorcycle accident, particularly a road rage incident, contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

Knowledge Equals Power in Orlando Motorcycle Accident Cases

Road rage is a dangerous emotion to have while riding a motorcycle. If you have been involved in an Orlando motorcycle accident, you may need the help of an attorney. Contact an experienced Orlando motorcycle accident attorney at Auto Justice Attorney to learn more about how we can help your case (407-422-4529).

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