AGGRESSIVE DRIVING & ROAD RAGE
AGGRESSIVE DRIVING & ROAD RAGE
AVOIDING AGGRESSIVE DRIVING / ROAD RAGE AND ROAD SAFETY
What is AGGRESSIVE DRIVING?
Aggressive driving is often demonstrated by drivers who take their anger, resentment and frustration with them behind the wheel. These attitudes can lead to crashes and nasty confrontations. Many instances of this aggressive behavior involve drivers who cut you off, make unsafe lane changes, speed, follow too closely, run red lights, and disobey traffic signs and signals. Add to that less than ideal picture, the blaring of a horn, angry voices shouting and rude hand gestures. All of these driving patterns can lead to road rage or the kind of highway madness that has drivers engaging in physical fights or using their vehicles to ram other drivers, sometimes forcing them off the road.
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
HOW TO AVOID AGGRESSIVE DRIVING?
When you find yourself in a stressful driving environment or when your mood makes you irritable and impatient, calm down, take a deep breath and relax. An aggressive state of mind will come through in your driving behavior and affects your safety and the safety of others. Be courteous, content and considerate. Accept the fact that you’re bound to meet all sorts of different drivers on the road. Don’t take things personally. Try to follow some simple courteous driving practices:
- When you merge, make sure you have plenty of room. Always use your turn signal to show your intentions before making a move. If someone cuts you off, slow down and give them room to merge into your lane.
- If you are in the right lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by. You may be “in the left” because you are travelling at the 5speed limit – but you may also be putting yourself in danger by making drivers behind you angry.
- Allow at least a two-second space between your car and the car ahead. Drivers may get angry when they are followed too closely. If you feel you are being followed too closely, signal and pull over when safe to do so, allowing the other driver to pass.
- Use your horn rarely, if ever.
- Keep your hands on the wheel and avoid making any gestures that might anger another driver. That includes “harmless” expressions of irritation like shaking your head.
- If another driver is acting angry, don’t make eye contact.
- Give angry drivers lots of room. If another driver tries to pick a fight, put as much distance between you as possible. And, remember “it takes two to tango”. One angry driver can’t start a fight unless another driver is willing to join in.
- 5 WAYS OF PREVENTING AGGRESSIVE DRIVING AND ROAD RAGE
One key to prevention is to avoid engaging in the behaviors yourself and trying not to give other roadway users cause to become aggressive.
- Avoid conflict. It is best to assume that other drivers’ mistakes are not personal.
- Never attempt to take the right of way. It must give given to you by other drivers.
- When using high-beam headlights, return to low-beam headlights as soon as you detect an oncoming vehicle.
- Do not drive behind another vehicle with your high-beam headlights on.
Be as polite on the road as you would be in any other social situation. You cannot control traffic, but you can control your responses to it.
HOW TO RESPONDING TO AGGRESSIVE DRIVING AND ROAD RAGE
Unfortunately, other drivers can become aggressive or enraged. If you are confronted by a driver displaying aggressive driving behaviors toward you, follow these guidelines:
- Do not respond to the other driver. Avoid any escalation of conflict.
- Avoid eye contact with the aggressive driver or occupants.
- Be tolerant and forgiving. The aggressive driver may be having a really bad day and be looking for a way to vent anger.
- Be sure to allow enough room around your vehicle so that you can pull out or around if
- someone approaches your vehicle.
- Do not get out of your vehicle – it offers protection.
If necessary, contact 911 for assistance. If necessary, drive to a busy public place where there are witnesses, such as a hospital or fire station. Once there, use your horn to attract others’ attention if needed.