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Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage

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2.10.1 – What Is It?

Aggressive driving and road rage is not a new problem. However, in today’s world, where heavy and slow-moving traffic and tight schedules are the norm, more and more drivers are taking out their anger and frustration in their vehicles.

Crowded roads leave little room for error, leading to suspicion and hostility among drivers and encouraging them to take personally the mistakes of other drivers.

Aggressive driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle in a selfish, bold, or pushy manner, without regard for the rights or safety of others.

Road rage is operating a motor vehicle with the intent of doing harm to others or physically assaulting a driver or their vehicle.

2.10.2 – Don’t Be an Aggressive Driver

How you feel before you even start your vehicle has a lot to do with how stress will affect you while driving.

  • Reduce your stress before and while you drive. Listen to “easy listening” music.
  • Give the drive your full attention. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by talking on your cell phone, eating, etc.
  • Be realistic about your travel time. Expect delays because of traffic, construction, or bad weather and make allowances.
  • If you’re going to be later than you expected – deal with it. Take a deep breath and accept the delay.
  • Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Try to imagine why he or she is driving that way. Whatever their reason, it has nothing to do with you.
  • Slow down and keep your following distance reasonable.
  • Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic.
  • Avoid gestures. Keep you hands on the wheel. Avoid making any gestures that might anger another driver, even seemingly harmless expressions of irritation like shaking your head.
  • Be a cautious and courteous driver. If another driver seems eager to get in front of you, say, “Be my guest.” This response will soon become a habit and you won’t be as offended by other drivers’ actions.

2.10.3 – What You Should Do When Confronted by an Aggressive Driver

  • First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of their way.
  • Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Ignore gestures and refuse to react to them.
  • Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities by providing a vehicle description, license number, location and, if possible, direction of travel.
  • If you have a cell phone, and can do it safely, call the police.
  • If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash farther down the road, stop a safe distance from the crash scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the driving behavior that you witnessed.