Something that we seem to be hearing more and more about on our streets and highways today is many cases of road rage. Far too many people are getting angry while they drive, and taking their frustrations out behind the wheels of their vehicles, often aiming their frustrations at other drivers around them. So many accidents have been caused because of aggressive drivers and road rage, and a lot of injuries are caused, not from accidents, but from enraged drivers following those who they are angry at and getting violent.
No matter how hard you try to be a good and considerate driver, there are going to be those around you who are angry, and you may find yourself in situations where you must deal with aggressive drivers.
Avoid Getting Them Angry in the First Place
There are a number of things that you can do to avoid angering other drivers and ending up in a road rage situation. Here are some tips to keep you safe on the roads, and not bothering anyone around you:
- Be cautious and courteous:
Always practice safe driving skills, and don’t make any moves that are going to make other drivers angry. For instance, don’t change lanes without signalling first and checking to make sure you are not going to cut another driver off. If you are going to make a turn, make sure you have your turn signal on in plenty of time so the drivers around you know what you are doing. If you do not signal, and you make a turn, someone who assumed you were going straight could end up colliding with you, and the driver may become enraged at you for causing the accident.
- Do not tailgate:
Even for someone who doesn’t anger easily, having someone tailgating them is incredibly annoying, not to mention dangerous. You should try to stay at least three or four car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. If this is not possible, at least make sure that you are able to easily see the bottoms of the rear tires of the car in front of you. If they have to stop suddenly, you will not be at nearly as much of a risk of rear-ending them, which will automatically be considered your fault, even if it is not.
- Don’t make inappropriate gestures:
We all feel like making that certain gesture to drivers who cut us off or do other inconsiderate things in traffic, but this is something that may just set that other driver off and cause a severe case of road rage. Hold back on your inclination to make gestures or faces towards other drivers, or you could end up in some sticky situations with aggressive drivers.
- Stay off the horn:
Can you stand to have someone driving behind you, honking their horn to get you to move when you can’t move anywhere? You probably just try to ignore it, but many others do not, so don’t be that person honking your horn just because you are in a hurry. The more you do it, the more you are going to annoy the driver in front of you, and it is something as simple as this that can set off a case of road rage.
What to Do If You Can’t Avoid a Confrontation
Unfortunately, there may be times when it will be impossible for you to avoid a confrontation with an enraged driver. This can be as simple as an argument with some name-calling, or it can quickly escalate into something much more serious, and violent.
Here are some tips to follow if you are in a situation where you are unable to avoid a confrontation:
- Stay in your car:
If you have an aggressive person coming towards you, do not get out of your vehicle. You are just inviting the other person to start arguing with you. Instead, stay where you are at, and make sure that you lock the doors so the person cannot open the door and pull you outside of the vehicle.
- Call 911:
One of the greatest little pieces of technology we can own today is the cell phone, and it is something that could save you in the event of any number of different types of emergencies. If you are being approached by an aggressive driver who is looking for a confrontation, and you fear that the confrontation will become violent, call the police and ask them to come and diffuse the situation. Then sit inside your locked vehicle and wait for them to arrive.
- Roll down your window a crack:
Depending on how angry the other driver is, you may be able to talk to them a bit from inside your car. Be reasonable and rational, and try to maintain your cool at all times. If you do not give them any reason to become angry and violent, they probably will calm down and finally walk away.
- Park in a public area:
If the aggressive driver is following you, make sure that you do not pull your vehicle over and stop until you are in an area that is well lit (if it is night time) and filled with people. The more witnesses in the area, the less the chances are that this person is going to do anything stupid, such as try to get violent with you, not with so many people watching. If you are lucky, there may be a police station nearby, and this is the perfect place for you to pull in and park.
The best way to stay away from aggressive drivers is to be careful of what you are doing, be a defensive driver by watching what the drivers in front of you are doing, and being courteous of other drivers. And try not to become an aggressive driver yourself. It is an easy thing to do, but it really serves no real purpose, and it could get you into a lot of trouble.