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Tips to temper rage and aggression while driving

Many drivers across the country and in states like Tennessee, have likely witnessed overly aggressive drivers. Fueled by what has come to be known as road rage, these drivers often engage in dangerous and aggressive driving practices that endanger the lives of everyone on the road. Car accidents caused by tailgating, speeding and cutting in and out of lanes are classic examples of the dangerous driving practices associated with road rage and aggressive driving.

During the 1990s, 218 murders and more than 12,000 injuries were attributed to road rage. Categorized by overly aggressive, dangerous and irrational behavior; road rage is a major public safety concern. What's more, drivers that engage in behaviors such as shouting and gesturing put themselves at an increased risk for health problems.

Stress associated with road rage and aggressive driving behaviors increase the levels of stress hormones within an individual's body. The long-term adverse health effects of increased stress can lead to headaches, heart palpitations and even fertility issues.

Drivers who find themselves feeling angry or aggressive while driving should take steps to prevent road rage. Leaving 10 minutes earlier can help alleviate the stress associated with being late. Employing distracting tactics like singing or deep breathing can also help temper emotions and calm nerves. Additionally, keeping things in perspective and understanding that it's likely a driver is not intentionally trying to cause irritation can help diffuse a tense situation.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "How to Control Road Rage," Angela Haupt, Aug. 30, 2012

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