If you’ve ever been in a car, you’ve likely experienced road rage, whether you were the victim of someone else’s aggression or the aggressor yourself. In fact, over half of the world’s drivers have experienced road rage at some point; often triggered by tailgating, stress, and heavy traffic. Data collected in one study suggested that 66% of recent traffic fatalities could be linked to aggressive driving.
While you can’t change the behavior of others, you can control your own road rage and safely deal with the aggressive driving around you with these helpful tips.
If you are dealing with an aggressive driver, make sure your doors are locked. If you’re stopped in traffic, leave enough room to pull out from behind the car you’re following. If an aggressive driver confronts you, dial 911.
Don’t take it personally.
Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver isn’t. Avoid any conflict if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and move out of the way. Never underestimate the other driver’s capacity for causing mayhem.
Reduce your own stress.
Allow plenty of time for a trip and listen to soothing music when you drive. Make sure your seat position and climate are comfortable for you. The best thing you can do is understand that you cannot control traffic, only your reaction to it. In the end, you may find that personal frustration, anger and impatience are the real danger zones on the highway.
Report aggressive drivers
Some states have a phone number that you can use to report dangerous driving to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Keep the number handy on your cell phone. If you make a call, be sure to give a vehicle description, license number, location and travel direction. You could prevent a tragedy.
Be a courteous driver.
You can set a good example, especially if you have children or young adults in the car with you. They will learn to mirror your behavior.
- Control your anger.
- Don’t take traffic problems personally.
- Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver.
- Don’t make obscene gestures.
- Don’t tailgate.
- Use your horn sparingly–even a polite honk can be misinterpreted.
- Don’t block the passing lane.
- Don’t block the right turn lane.