Letter: Increasing rage
Road rage is in our state, in our valley and this week in the national news. “20/20” arrived in Denver and interviewed CSP Capt. Jeff Goodwin in this report referred to as “Rocky Mountain Rage.” This report focused on the fact that incidents are dramatically escalating in Colorado. With 100,000 people a year arriving in the Denver area and congestion/commuting worsening, should it come as a surprise? Our valley is facing similar growing pains.
What do we think road rage is? Perspective matters. Is it a term for the receiving end of road rage or the giving end?
I theorize that road rage is unmet expectations that cannot be reconciled with driving reality.
Not only do we all remember driving conditions of years past, we are flooded with images in the media of wide open roads, promises of freedom and thrilling stunt driving behavior, that on screen, has no consequences. Accidents, injuries, frustration are depicted as either minimal or nonexistent. Meanwhile some drivers are overconfident in their abilities and do not focus at the task at hand.
Capt. Goodwin said the No. 1 cause of road rage is distracted drivers. Lack of attentive driving sends other drivers into road rage.
Distracted drivers and/or aggressive drivers become the “givers” of road rage. Receivers become angered because their lives are endangered. (Danger is just one letter away from anger.)
Think about the driving experiences you have encountered and then see where and how it matches up with the fantasy that is projected in the media. Acknowledge that our state has grown and also that it is projected to double in the upcoming 20 years. Give yourself 20 percent more time today to reach local destinations. Slipping behind the wheel of any vehicle, take the job at hand seriously. Be an attentive responsible driver in control of a multi-thousand-pound vehicle, respectful of the rules of the road and the lives of others.
Glenwood’s driving reality will change, overnight, on Aug. 14. Adjust driving expectations. This instantaneous traffic reality will encourage us to try another way.
We will be thrust into the driving reality that takes most growing cities years to advance to. What we can do is make up our minds to accept the reality of traffic and not endanger ourselves or the lives of others. Arrive alive, we are all needed by many.
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