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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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Road Rage Preparedness

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Florida Today provides us with some thoughts that may keep us from becoming injured victims of road rage.

Take the high road on the highways

Cool heads key to avoiding road rage

Although road rage might not be considered a legal term, it is recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as an intermittent explosive disorder, a very real behavior pattern that occurs when stress impairs judgment.

To avoid incidents of aggressive driving or road rage, mental health experts suggest stepping back.

“Any time you get into a confrontation while driving is usually because you haven’t developed appropriate coping strategies,” said Dr. Wanda Bethea, a licensed psychotherapist in Melbourne. “You see the person as an adversary.”

If a driver tries to hurt you or another motorist, of course call for help, Bethea said — for your sake and for the sake of other motorists and even the driver.

With rude and aggressive drivers, on the other hand, Bethea takes the high road.

“You need to de-center, to take the other person’s position,” she said. “Maybe that person was preoccupied. Don’t see it as a personal affront.”

If Bethea makes an error that angers another driver, she makes a habit of putting her open hand over her heart and saying she’s sorry.

That usually ends the incident.

“It’s incumbent upon each of us when we encounter rage to defuse it,” she said. “It would help us all as human beings to be a bit more forgiving.”