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Heat Aggresive Driving
High Temps + Hot Tempers = Rage on the Road
As we head into the hottest months of summer in Houston, drivers are cranking up the air conditioning and trying to keep their cool on Texas’ crowded roadways. Whether you are hitting the road for a summer vacation or just trying to survive your morning commute, you are likely to come across some traffic conditions that make your blood boil.
That’s why it is critical to stay alert to the dangers of aggressive driving this time of year. Take the time to keep your behavior in check, and watch out for others who may not be so considerate.
The Heat Effect“The heat effect refers to the empirical observation of an increase in aggressive behavior in hot temperatures. It is noted that people believe that hot temperatures increase feelings of anger and hostility, decrease alertness and energy, and increase aggression and violence.”- “Temperature and Aggression,” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 32
DON'T BE THAT DRIVER
Heat-induced road rage can lead to more than confrontations between two feuding drivers. Anyone in the vicinity of an aggressive driver can suffer the consequences of a crash caused by road rage.
Common examples of aggressive driving include:
Running stop signs or red lights
Not allowing others to pass
Weaving in and out of traffic
Failing to signal
Passing on the right
Inappropriate hand and facial gestures
Honking the horn
Never challenge an aggressive driver. Let them pass. Ignore the rude gestures. And wear your seatbelt. Your safety is more important than trying to show up a reckless driver.
THE DARKER SIDE OF SUMMER
Traffic crash statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation paint a dreary picture for motorists during the summer. The following statistics are from 2017 crash data collected by TxDOT.
Deadliest month for crashes, with 352 people killed across the state
One crash occurred every 59 seconds
Percentage of crashes that occurred on clear or cloudy days vs. days that were rainy, foggy, or snowy
2 MINUTES, 4 SECONDS
One person was hurt in a crash every 2 minutes, 4 seconds
Temperature in Houston on July 29, hottest day of 2017
2 HOURS, 21 MINUTES
One person was killed in a crash every 2 hours, 21 minutes
TIPS FOR KEEPING A COOL HEAD WHEN IT'S HOT OUT
The invention of air-conditioning certainly made living in hot climates like Texas more tolerable, and it has led to a population boom for areas like Houston. However, the upswing in population has also led to a swelling of commute time.
As the Los Angeles Times reports:“On average, the overcooked drivers of traffic-choked Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Miami are stuck in traffic delays more than three times as many hours per year as drivers in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati and Buffalo.”
So, whether you’re making a quick trip, sitting in traffic, or suffering through a broken A/C in your vehicle, here are some steps you can take to keep from letting the heat get the better of you.
PLAN TO SWEAT.
There is no getting around it, you are going to sweat this summer. If you have an important meeting or event to get to and you are worried about sweating (either in your car or just walking to the building), plan ahead. Give yourself enough time to arrive and cool down once you reach your destination. If necessary, bring clothes to change into.
DRIVE DURING THE COOLER PARTS OF THE DAY OR AT NIGHT.
You may find that getting your driving done early in the morning or later in the evening keeps you out of the heavy traffic and the heat.
Drinking plenty of water can prevent heat-related headaches and other symptoms that can make you a grouchy or reckless driver.
LET THE AIR IN.
If your vehicle does not have air conditioning, be sure to keep at least two windows open for air flow. You may also consider purchasing a battery-powered portable fan or one that plugs into your lighter.
PARK IN THE SHADE.
Keep your vehicle as cool as possible by parking in the shade whenever you can. It can also help to use a windshield shade to keep your car from soaking in the sun.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY.
If you feel overheated, do not drive. Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, cool skin with goose bumps, fatigue, faintness, dizziness, muscle cramps, and a weak but rapid pulse. If your body is overwhelmed by the heat, wait to get into the car, ask someone else to drive, or pull over.
Have You Been Hurt in a Road Rage Accident?
At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we fight for the rights of crash victims who have been harmed by aggressive drivers. If you or a family member has suffered injuries in an accident caused by road rage, let our team help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.