Every driver has likely witnessed road rage at some point. Road rage is any angry or aggressive behavior that someone exhibits while driving. It can take the form of driving maneuvers like swerving, tailgating, honking; verbal aggression like shouting or insults; or rude gestures. Road rage is often caused by stressful situations like traffic or in times of miscommunication between drivers.
It’s dangerous regardless of whether you’re experiencing it or witnessing it, but fortunately there are several steps you can take to defuse a tense situation. In this article, Step 1 suggests getting out of the way if you’re being tailgated, Step 2 recommends planning ahead so you aren’t pressed for time, Step 3 advises communicating with other drivers with waves, Step 4 suggests giving other drivers plenty of space, and Step 5 explains why you should lay off the horn.
Part 1 of 1: How to avoid drivers with road rage
Step 1: Move over if you’re being tailgated. Don’t let your pride shroud your judgement. The best move is to let a tailgating car pass you, and then carry on with your driving.
Tailgating is dangerous and leads to accidents and injuries. Take the high road and politely let the car pass to ensure that the situation doesn’t escalate.
Step 2: Plan ahead. One of the main causes of road rage is time constraints. People are often running late for work, an appointment, or to pick up their kids.
This leads to stressful situations and reckless driving. Plan ahead and leave yourself enough time to get to your destination so that you don’t feel the road rage creeping up.
Leaving plenty of time allows you to remain calm during unexpected delays caused by car accidents or unusual traffic.
Step 3: Use the wave. Communicate clearly with other drivers on the road.
- Courtesy wave: if someone slows down and allows you into their lane, a courtesy wave is a nice way to say “thank you” to the other driver.
- Apologetic wave: everyone makes mistakes once in awhile. Give someone a wave to say “sorry” if you accidentally cut someone off or turned without signalling.
Communicating with other drivers is a great way to avoid conflict.
Step 4: Give angry drivers their space. If you notice someone driving angrily, do your best to give them as much space as possible.
Angry drivers are more likely to drive irrationally or erratically and keeping your distance might also keep you safe.
Step 5: Avoid using your horn. In matters of safety, using the horn is a good idea, but if you are using the horn to angrily toot another driver, then it can serve to escalate tensions and increase road rage.
Keep horn use to times when it is absolutely necessary and avoiding honking at others just because they did something you didn’t approve of.
Safe driving requires you to avoid stressful and dangerous situations. If you notice someone driving in a potentially harmful way, do what you can to get out of the way and make the road safer for everyone.