By Sharon Fancher
The term "aggressive driving" isn't new to the racing world and bespeaks an explosive, behind-the-wheel ugliness that sometimes can end in tragedy. It stems from a combination of ignorance, bad manners and at the time not realizing the potential risk or outcome of such actions. When racers get behind the wheel of a car, sometimes a demon takes over in certain situations and causes that person to become irate, rude, offensive or out of control and can lead to a lot of problems.
Aggressive driving is starting to show itself at an alarming rate in the local racing industry. Racers are reared in a racing culture were irate expressions are sometimes considered a part of the normal wear and tear of racing. Once a driver enters a race car, they sometimes think that suddenly the rules change. Thinking that it is justifiable and OK, for them to be mad, or get very upset, out of control, and use bad language that's ordinarily not allowed, just because someone did something they didn't like while racing.
Just because aggressive driving is a learned cultural habit and knowing that you can retaliate if you want too, doesn't mean you have to retaliate and respond in a destructive manner. When we do get frustrated while racing we do have the choice of deciding how we're going to respond. There are types of responses available to us like: venting without retaliating, not venting, staying cool and objective, or back off until we can act responsibly. It's up to us how we respond and it's up to us how we train ourselves to respond.
Aggressive driving doesn't occur for no reason. It happens in a response to someone doing something silly or even dangerous. For example, a racer dangerously cuts down on another racer and causes them to spin. The victim is angry and not clearly thinking and abuses the perpetrator. While racing, drivers are closer to each other, so they can see each other better, and notice more things about each other, including mistakes, some of which are merely annoying, others that could cause life threatening injuries.
Sometimes racing can get so intense that drivers become emotionally insane on a temporary basis and snap. They then become primitive savages engaged in hurting or killing each other. Or, if not killing each other, at least behaving in an aggressive and hostile manner, enough to loose control of themselves and acting dangerously. Feeling stress behind the wheel may be a familiar sensation for hundreds of racers, but it can be more than just a temporary irritant. It can also cause us to react in a destructive and sometimes deadly manner. How our choices could affect other drivers, fans, etc., is what we should be thinking about, before entering a race car.
Aggressive driving has become a runaway problem. It is only now with so many injuries and lives that have been taken in such a short time period of time in local racing, that people are starting to realize the potential dangers of aggressive driving. So lets make the right decision and drive responsibly.
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