An encounter with an aggressive driver ended without incident for Detroit, Michigan resident Rick Sykes but was so disturbing it led him to launch a campaign called “Don’t Engage N Road Rage.”
A Detroit-area pastor, Sykes shares details of the encounter that he believes could have turned into something really unfortunate.
“One day while driving, I was trying to pass another motorist. Although we were on a three-lane highway, for some reason this particular motorist wouldn’t let me pass. I did all the proper things such as signaling, but each time I tried to get over and pass, this motorist wouldn’t allow me,” shared Sykes.
After several more attempts, Sykes was able to pass the other driver and thought the incident was over, but the driver began to aggressively follow him. Despite the driver’s clear aggression, Sykes made a decision not to engage in anyway.
“For me, it wasn’t a matter of backing down, but backing off, even though he was aggressively following me. As a result of changing my attitude and not engaging; I was able to think clearly and eventually put myself in a better and safe position,” said Sykes.
His primary motivation was to make it to his destination and home to his family something he wants others to focus on. Troubled by his own encounter, he began to also notice the increasing number of road rage incidents being reported.
According to The National Highway Safety Administration each year up to 1,500 people are killed or injured in road rage incidents making it a major issue in the U.S. and across the world.
“After hearing story after story about guns being brandished, physical altercations, obscene gestures, racial epithets and yes people being killed due to Road Rage reported incidents, I decided to lead the charge in bringing this growing epidemic to the forefront,” said Sykes, Founder and Senior Pastor of The Prevailing Church in Detroit.
Don’t Engage N Road Rage is committed to bringing awareness to this growing epidemic both locally and nationally. The organization is making strategic efforts to effectively communicate Road Rage Awareness through partnerships, education, training, workshops, seminars and its brand.
Sykes is so committed to his mission that he recently invested in a billboard to promote his organization’s campaign featuring his organization’s logo created by his son.
The causes of road rage are numerous from stress to uncontrolled anger to mental disorders, and more shares Sykes. But no matter the cause, road rage is a serious issue that must be strategically addressed he believes.
He is aware he can’t do it alone and invites others in the community to join forces with him in the following ways:
- PARTNER with corporations, community organizations, educational institutions, entertainment industry, and other entities to promote Road Rage Awareness.
- PARTICIPATE in planning, organizing and the facilitation of workshops, seminars and other forums in order that Road Rage Awareness would be addressed on a grass roots level.
- PROVIDE information, tools, technique, real life scenarios, stress and anger management referrals and other preventative resources to curb Road Rage.
- PROMOTE Road Rage Awareness through product such as t-shirts, hats, wristbands, pens, mugs, bumper stickers, etc.
The organization’s goal is simply to raise awareness to the growing epidemic of road rage.
“It’s about practicing self control, thinking clearly, not engaging, but most importantly arriving safely to your destination and family,” said Sykes.
While On The Road, Practice Self Control
For more information or to register to partner with the organization, visit www.dontengage.org.
Detroit pastor launches nationwide campaign to stop road rage