How to Handle Road Rage and Aggressive Drivers
We’ve all been there. Someone drives like a maniac; scaring us and making us think we’re about to be in an accident at any point. It can make anyone really angry. Of course, we’ve all been on the opposite side, not thinking about our actions on the road, and making someone else so mad they seem to lose it a little.
Aggressive drivers and road rage cause accidents all the time. Accidents make insurance premiums rise. It’s a bad cycle. One of the easiest ways to lower your auto insurance rates, without sacrificing coverage, is to stay safe out on the road, especially when it comes to road rage and aggressive drivers.
We’ll cover how to curb your own road rage, how to avoid causing road rage, and how to handle aggressive drivers.
Calm Your Road Rage
Some people can make you so mad you want to scream or hit something. We get it. It happens to all of us. But giving into it could cause an accident and get someone hurt. When you’re feeling a bit of road rage come over you, do these things to remain calm and move on.
- Take several deep breaths.
- Pull over into a parking lot or on the side of the road until you’re calm again.
- Remind yourself that they may be having a really bad day. There’s no way to know what someone else is going through.
Avoid Causing Road Rage
No matter how great we think we are behind the wheel, sometimes we’re the reason for someone else’s road rage. Do what you can to avoid making another driver angry and be a better, safer driver in the process.
- Be courteous on the road. Don’t cut people off in traffic. Don’t flash your lights to “encourage” someone to drive faster. Pay attention to your surroundings. Move to the right lane if someone behind you is driving faster than you.
- Don’t tailgate. You’re at risk for an accident when someone comes to an abrupt stop, and you make other drivers angry at the same time.
- Rude gestures or looks are never a good idea. You’ve now escalated a situation that might have otherwise been forgotten.
- Don’t be mean. Avoid blocking parking spots or double-parking. Don’t take a spot that someone is obviously waiting for. Treat other drivers the way you’d want to be treated.
- Be apologetic for your own bad behavior. We all make mistakes. A quick “I’m sorry” wave and apologetic smile can go a long way. Also be thankful. If someone is nice to you by letting you out into traffic, give the “thank you” wave.
When Other Drivers Get Aggressive
No matter what you do or how nice you are to other drivers, someone is going to get aggressive or have road rage. When that happens, your safety is paramount. You don’t want to make it worse, but you also don’t want to be the victim.
- Ignore the other driver if they yell at you or make rude gestures.
- Avoid making eye contact. Look straight ahead at the road.
- Move on and don’t stop.
- If you do stop and you’re followed, park in a public place and stay in your vehicle or drive to the nearest police station.
- If you feel threatened for any reason, call 911.
You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can control your own. Do what you can to limit your feelings of road rage. Try not to cause it in other people. Most importantly, don’t engage with an aggressive driver who may be capable of violence. You’ll stay safer out on the road and avoid accidents.