Camp Pendleton was the scene of an infamous act of road rage that was captured on video and made national news. This week, Marine Corps West Installations West sent out a news release filled with tips on what Marines can do to prevent becoming the perpetrator of a road rage event:
• Stay off the road: Try to avoid driving during a particularly bad mood. If not driving is impossible, take a few minutes to calm yourself down before driving.
• Turn off the radio: Do not listen to angry music while driving. Avoid listening to any type of music that might accelerate heart rate and cause aggressive driving.
• Go off the beaten path: Try to avoid driving in heavily trafficked areas or during peak driving hours.
• “Be the bigger man or woman”: Stooping to their level will only make the risk of accidents higher.
• Hand over the wheel: If at all possible, let someone else drive. Ironically enough, people with road rage usually refuse to let anyone else have the wheel, because they feel they are superior drivers and want to be in control of the situation.
• Keep some perspective: It can't be denied that there are many poor, aggressive, inconsiderate, careless and dangerous drivers on the road at any given place and time. However, what many road ragers view as personal offenses are often really accidents or the result of a careless or even oblivious driver.
• Drive defensively: Never assume that someone will use their turn-signal or follow at the appropriate range.
Last April, Sgt. Joshua Brightman was caught on video screaming expletives and physically threatening a motorist on base. The driver and his sister, a Marine who'd been paralyzed from the waist down, faced the barrage from Brightman for three minutes. The paralyzed Marine videotaped the incident, and that video went viral: