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Health > Under the Rainbow3/31/10 IS Online

Drive with Aloha

Staying calm behind the wheel can prevent accidents.

By Craig DeSilva

People who say they live aloha may not always drive with aloha.

Drivers can sometimes transform into hot-tempered maniacs behind the wheel, posing a danger to themselves and others. You may have experienced this phenomenon during rush-hour traffic on the H-1.

True road rage is a criminal act of violence that occurs while driving over-aggressively and can include tailgating, speeding, and running red lights. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the number of traffic deaths related to road rage is difficult to track, but it estimates that about one-third of automobile crashes in the U.S. are a result of aggressive driving. About two-thirds of those crashes result in fatalities.

Although congested roads can lead to driver frustration, studies suggest the root of aggressive driving behavior lies within each of us.

How can you keep yourself and others safe on the road?

  • Be aware. Pay attention to your driving behavior and that of drivers around you.
  • Stay calm. Reduce your stress level behind the wheel. Play soothing music to keep relaxed.
  • Plan ahead. Leave a few minutes early just in case you get stuck in traffic.
  • Don’t take it personally. Just because someone cuts you off, it may not be deliberate. Drivers often do not pay attention or are in a hurry. It’s not worth getting angry.
 
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