Colorado drivers should be more considerate of others, refrain from acting on road rage

September 12, 2017

Jasmine Nelson

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    Don’t get me wrong; the occasional profanity slips out of my mouth in reaction to another driver’s actions, but I wasn’t always this way.

    I used to think I was just naïve to mainland U.S. driving habits after learning to drive in Hawaii, a laidback state, but insurance companies testify to this.

    Colorado drivers can be impatient, which makes them angrier and more reckless.

    Coloradans “hard brake,” drive aggressively and end up in accidents more frequently than the national average, according to Nationwide Insurance. Over time, this behavior has made me jaded and prone to irritation on the road.

    Whether on or off campus, drive safely and compassionately. Driving with impatience and negligence is not worth the cost of an accident or the potential loss of life.

    But there are many other reasons to curb the road rage.

    Speeding, weaving in and out of traffic or aggressive acceleration is impeded by traffic lights. It feels like if you could just get around the unreasonably slow driver in front of you (seriously, why do people drive under the speed limit?) then you would get to school on time.

    But you will notice that, despite your best efforts, you are subject to the same traffic laws as the drivers around you and will stop at all the same stoplights.

    If you do manage to speed fast enough to beat every red light and put your fellow slower drivers to shame, you might earn yourself a speeding ticket, which can cost a few hundred dollars and an increase on your insurance policy. You could have bought a UCCS parking pass with that kind of money.

    You also waste more fuel by accelerating aggressively just to hard break at the next light over and over not to mention that this habit is rough on your breaks and tires too.

    Aggressive driving is also rough on your emotional health and overall life satisfaction.

   A study by Australia’s University of Sunshine Coast found that aggressive driving increased resting blood pressure “up to six years later, which can contribute to cardiovascular disease.”   

    It’s just not worth it to drive aggressively. The drivers you angrily cuss at are your neighbors, friends, co-workers and classmates.

    It’s become far too easy for us to make unfair assumptions about other drivers. For example, someone who doesn’t use their blinker is not necessarily an idiot or a bad driver; we’ve all forgotten to use our blinkers.

    And someone who takes too long at the stop sign shouldn’t make you shake your fist in anger. Maybe they’re having a terrible day. Maybe they’re being extra cautious. That’s okay.

    Let people merge in front of you, and don’t tail someone who feels comfortable driving slower than you do. That kind of behavior only contributes to the overall issue of road rage in our city.

    I promise you will get where you’re going. There have already been over 14,000 accidents in Colorado so far this year, so please get to your destinations safely — if not for the sake of basic decency, then for the sake of everyone who loves you.