Are we safe while driving in Chicago?



11-22-02



It seems like you can’t drive more than two miles today without encountering road rage. Some say that the road rage is a national epidemic more dangerous than drunk driving. Others find it to be a continues but insignificant problem. Needless to say, almost everyone agrees that road rage is an actual attitude that can be observed on most American roadways, especially the ones in the third largest city in our country, Chicago.


What is road rage? There are many different things that come to mind when a person hears the term "road rage." Road rage can range from as small as running a yellow light, all the way down to chasing down a person, pulling out a 44 magnum, and sticking it in their mouth. When a person experiences road rage, they are consumed with anger, usually towards another person on the public roadway. Maybe the person cut them off with their car at an intersection, or maybe they honked their horn at the wrong time. I know from experience that when a person does something that seems to be wrong to you, when you’re on the road, it is not that hard to become consumed with anger. People who carry out road rage attacks and impulsive acts of violence may suffer from brain disorder, a study reports today. (millennium-debate.org)


The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which conducted a study of 10,037 aggressive driving incidents between 1990 and 1997, says the majority of these driving incidents are men ages 18 to 26, who are poorly educated, have criminal records, have histories of violent behavior and abuse drugs or alcohol. However, some cases involve men and women who didn’t fit that profile but who simply “snap” in traffic.


Road rage in the city of Chicago is somewhat understandable due to the high level of traffic but there is no excuse to hurt someone just because you’ve had a bad day at work or because someone cut in front of you, which brings me to a story about a Chicago man sentenced to 45 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder for running down a bicycle messenger in a fit of road rage. Also in Chicago a toddler was in critical condition after being shot in a case of road rage, while riding in a car with her father, when her father got into and argument with a motorist.


According to many different studies, road rage can be either considered real, or just something made up by the media. Road rage is scaring people and making them not even want to drive on the roads anymore, without the fear of being shot or ran off the road. The true epidemic is ourselves, we are causing this by not building more roads for the many more drivers that we have. Road rage has always been around, we are just noticing it and making a big deal of it. The best advice I can give is to be careful and keep your eyes open. Maybe eventually we can bring the road rage epidemic down.