Experts: Don't engage with road rage

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Following the road rage shooting of a Jacksonville University-bound teen, experts on the First Coast are urging drivers to disengage from other drivers who may be exhibiting road rage.

Dennis Satornino, owner of My EZ Pass Driving School in Jacksonville, said he sees road rage every day.

“Raising their fist, opening their window and flipping someone off, jamming on their brakes in front of someone,” Satornino said.

Satornino advises students not to engage with aggressive drivers. He said if the behavior continues, they should move toward the right lane or turn off the road altogether.

“If you feel you did something wrong, when you have the chance at stop sign or a light, look over at them and say ‘I’m sorry,’” Satornino said. “Sometimes that can diffuse the situation.”

Satornino said aggressive driving behavior can often indicate someone is prone to road rage. Dr. Roxanne Louh, a licensed psychologist, agreed.

“They tend to have more of an aggressive and hostile interpretation of what happens to them,” she said. “So they’re more likely to take things personally on the road as well.”

Louh said people who easily get and stay angry or frequently suffer from anxiety or depression may be more prone to road rage. She said road rage stemmed from a feeling of being personally wronged.

“Don’t try to get into a battle of wills or superiority or control,” she said. “Sort of let them have the power that they’re seeking.”

Additionally, Louh urged drivers to be in touch with their emotions. Stressors from life could carry over to the road, she said.

“[As though] I got in the car and suddenly the first person who cut me off, I was taking my anger out on,” she said.

Satornino went so far as to tell his students to stay out of the car if they’re having a bad day.

“You shouldn’t drive,” he said. “Cause you’re not in the right frame of mind.”

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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