Doctor: How to stop road rage before it happens

Thursday, July 11, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- News 12 has reported on two cases of road rage, including a deadly incident last weekend and another on Thursday.

With major highways like I-20 running through the CSRA, medical professionals say there's some steps to take in order to stay safe and calm behind the wheel.

Dr. Jeremy Hertza, a neuropsychologist with NeuroBehavioral Associates in Augusta, treats people for road rage and anger issues.

People are coming into his office seeking help, and he doesn't see that changing with today's society.

"More and more time constraints," Dr. Hertza said. "More and more things where you don't have room to be late. You are already in a heightened state. You are primed. You are primed to get frustrated and angry."

He says to stop road rage from occurring, it's important to be aware.

"You wanna catch it right at the beginning, and then you can teach people interventions on how to stop it from escalating to the point of no control," he said.

Dr. Hertza tells his clients if they are feeling too stressed behind the wheel. It's okay to pull over, turn on your flashers, take a few deep breaths and even turn on some calming music.

He also suggests having a road rage plan, just like you might have a plan for a house fire.

He even encourages people to practice and be prepared.

"You can go into a store during a time when it's busiest,' Dr. Hertza said. "At that point, you can ask yourself. 'Oh, I'm getting frustrated. How should I manage myself?'"

If you can't control your emotions in a vehicle, or especially on a regular basis, Dr. Hertza says don't be afraid to see a therapist and ask for help.

If you're embarrassed, the therapist can work confidentially to meet your needs. He wants to remind everyone to not risk your life on a split second frustration.