How to Avoid Road Rage

The video of an apparent road rage incident on the Massachusetts Turnpike has been seen around the world, but it has some wondering if it is indicative of a bigger problem in Massachusetts when it comes to aggressive driving.

After NBC10 Boston posted the exclusive video online, many on social media were not surprised by the behavior. Dozens of commenters called the video, where a man can be seen clinging to the hood for about three miles, "normal" and "standard protocol for Boston drivers."

At the Parkway Driving School in Boston's West Roxbury neighborhood, instructors will use the video as a lesson. They teach students how to handle road rage, and they see it a lot.

"It's aggression 101," driving instructor Joao Costa said. "We will have people cut us off or we will have people want to speed up. We tell them don't engage, and if you know you have triggers, avoid the triggers."

Costa, a driving instructor for nearly a decade, said triggers can be anything from city streets to traffic. Last year, Allstate named Boston drivers the second worst in the country after Baltimore. He thinks the population has something to do with it.

"A lot of it has to do with rushing and in Boston, people are always rushing," Costa said.

When it comes to driver behavior, Bryan Reimer is somewhat of an expert. He studies it as a research analyst at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics.

He said society's dependence on technology is taking a toll on face-to-face communication skills, which can further escalate stressful incidents on the road.

"We may very well see more situations occur where we just can't settle situations with words," Reimer said. "We're just not used to it to anymore."

He is already thinking about what road rage will look like when more cars are driverless. There have been reports of people slashing tires and throwing rocks at autonomous vehicles in other parts of the country.

As for how to de-escalate the situation if drivers find themselves enraged, Costa recommends taking a break or a more relaxing route. He said the last thing drivers should do is engage.

"Because you don't know who or what you're dealing with," Costa said. "Everybody says I'm a Great Dane, but be careful, because that little Chihuahua could take you down."

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