Johanna Hicks Weekly Column for March 22nd, 2019: Tips on Handling Aggressive Driving and Upcoming Events

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Tips on Handling Aggressive Driving

               Road rage incidents have made the news again.  Some instances are fatal and others caused serious damage to vehicles or a person’s health.  Each year, at least 2,000 people are injured or killed in the United States as a result of aggressive driving (National Highway and Traffic Association [NHTSA]).  These actions usually stem from another stressful situation in a person’s life, such as job loss or divorce.  Aggressive driving occurs when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property” (NHTSA).

               Road rage is often used in the most extreme acts of aggression, such as physical assault, that occurs as a direct result of a disagreement between drivers.  It is important to identify aggressive driving behaviors and to know how to react to them.

Reducing Aggressive Driving Behavior

  • “Keep it cool.” Taking out your frustrations on fellow motorists can lead to violence or a crash.
  • Pay attention while driving.  Reading, eating, or talking on a cell phone can also lead to crashes.
  • Don’t tailgate. This is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious deaths or injuries.
  • Stay in your lane. Don’t block the passing lane or whip in and out of lanes. If someone wants to pass, let them do so.
  • Don’t run red lights. Do not enter an intersection on a yellow light.
  • Maintain speed. Avoid going faster than the speed limit, being a “road racer,” or going too fast in unsafe conditions.
  • Use your signal. Don’t switch lanes without signaling, and make sure you don’t cut someone off.

Ways to Reduce Traffic-Related Stress

  • Consider altering your schedule. Moving your schedule can help you avoid traffic congestion.
  • Relax. Turn the radio to your favorite relaxing music; loosen your grip on the wheel, and take a deep breath.
  • Don’t drive when you are angry, upset, or tired.
  • Improve the comfort of your vehicle. Use your air conditioner, or get a pillow or seat cover to make your ride more comfortable.

When Confronted with Aggressive Drivers

  • Get out of the way. Make every attempt to get out of the way of an aggressive driver.
  • Put your pride aside. Do not challenge an aggressive driver by speeding up or attempting to “hold your own” in the lane you are in.
  • Avoid eye contact. Eye contact can enrage an aggressive driver.
  • Don’t use gestures or honk the horn excessively. Both of these actions have been known to enrage aggressive drivers.
  • Report serious aggressive driving. You or a passenger may call the police. But if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.

Understand that you can’t control traffic, but you can control your reaction to it!  As a motorist, you should keep your cool in traffic; be patient and courteous to other drivers, and correct unsafe driving habits that are likely to endanger or infuriate other drivers.

Upcoming Events

–        County 4-H Council and 4-H Record Book Workshop: Monday, April 1, 6:00 p.m., Extension Office

–        55+ Health Fair: Tuesday, April 2, 4:00 to 6:30 p.m., ROC

–        Child Safety Seat Check-up: Wednesday, April 3, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Lowe’s Parking Lot

Closing Thought

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud – Kaitlyn Michigan

Recipe of the Week

Zesty Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1-ounce package dry Ranch dressing mix
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:

1)      Combine lemon juice and ranch dressing mix in a bowl.  Stir well.

2)      Arrange chicken breasts in a baking dish, and pour lemon-ranch dressing over top.

3)      Add 1 tablespoon butter to the dish and cover with lid or aluminum foil.

4)      Bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes.

Serves 4

Nutrition (per serving): 330 calories; 6 g total fat; 85 g cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrate; 25 g protein

Source: Dinner Tonight

 

 

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