“Family ties mean that no matter how much you might want to run from your family, you can’t.”
Ok all jokes aside, we love our family, even if they can be a little stubborn, or a little reckless on the road. And loving family means we have to put up with some of their crazy antics. But we should never have to put up with road rage. If you can convince a family member to stop driving aggressively, you may be saving their life, your life, and the life of another driver. It’s that simple.
Aggressive driving is one of the top contributors to road accidents and fatalities in the U.S. and around the world. Almost 66% of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving. Aggressive drivers can cause a lot of stress, anxiety, and fear for passengers as well as others on the road.
If you are worried about the safety of your loved one who is an aggressive driver, there are ways to prevent them from driving aggressively before an accident happens. And you don’t need a therapist or a car accident lawyer to get the idea through to them.
Let’s discuss the steps and a few tips to help you convince a family member to stop driving aggressively.
How to Convince A Family Member to Stop Driving Aggressively
1. Be Honest
Honest is the best policy. That trope is true than ever when discussing bad habits. So, lay it out on the table. Tell your family member that they are an aggressive driver. Get it out in the open. Preach! It will get the idea through to them no matter what.
But if you want the idea to stick, you have to be careful how you tell them. You can be honest, but be sure to focus on how t makes you feel, how worried you are about their safety, and how you would hate to see something bad happen to them. Which leads us into the next tips.
2. Explain with Examples
You can point our examples of other drivers doing exactly what your family member is doing and tell them that you think that is dangerous. Point out how aggressive driving may be affecting other drivers on the road and that it could lead to serious accidents.
Maybe even example to the driver that they would probably be extremely upset if that driver was driving that aggressively near them. This is one way to convince a family member to stop driving aggressively, which may lead to some passive-aggressive saltiness. So if called out, we recommend speaking up.
3. No mobile phones
Convince your loved one to refrain from using the mobile phone while driving. Keep the eyes on the road not on the phone unless it is an emergency. Mobile phones present a traffic hazard. Sure text while driving is not necessarily aggressive driving, but it can be dangerous and trigger aggressive driving in others.
Be sure to have a strict no-phone while driving policy. Don’t tolerate someone else using their phone while driving.
4. Highlight Safety
Third, reinforce the importance of safety, even if it means running late. Your family member may be caught up in traffic or anxious arriving late. Reassure your loved one that arriving at your destination safely is more important than being late. Regardless if it is a personal or business appointment, you can always suggest to him or her to call ahead to inform them you will be late.
Anything can be rescheduled, apologies can be made, but you only get one chance to focus on arriving their safely so make that your priority.
5. Ask Others to Help
How anger is a terrible emotion and sometimes we need a little intervention to get us to think clearly. If you have tried some of the other methods to convince a family member to stop driving aggressively without success, then it may be time to get a little help from the rest of the family.
It doesn’t have to an A&E special, complete with dramatic music and a bus ready to take them to the airport. But you can ask other family members to speak to them about their aggressive driving habits. And if push comes to shove, maybe get a few of them in a room together.
6. Offer to Drive Instead
Lastly, if you are riding with your loved one, offer to drive if you can. This does not only allow you to control the situation but also reduces stress. Most of all, taking control protects you and your loved one from freak accidents.
But it does something else… it instills the idea that you don’t feel safe when they are driving. Enough to maybe get it through to them that they should stop driving aggressively when you are in the car. Sure it’s an indirect way to convince a family member to stop driving aggressively, but if you have tried everything else, give this a shot.
Tips Your Loved One Can Use to Stop Aggressive Driving
Don’t Drive Angry: Ask them to avoid driving when they are angry, feeling emotional, or stressed. These negative feelings will trigger your loved one to respond negatively towards other drivers. Even the simple use of a horn leaves you feeling provoked even if is not aimed at you.
Remind them to be patient: Remind them not to react to other drivers who are looking for conflict while on the road. Patiently remind your loved one to remain calm and never show signs of irritation with the other driver’s behavior. It is simply learning your battles; to remain calm and leave it alone.
Plan out the route: It’s always a good idea to plan your route before heading out. Suggest to your loved one to look up for traffic reports online to know traffic situations. Also, if you are going somewhere you are not familiar with, search for directions beforehand. This will help you prepare an alternative route in case of traffic situations. Besides, the Internet can give you alternatives for shorter or quickest routes to your destination. Doing so lessens delay and stress.
Better time management: Ask them to practice time management. Always leave early to have enough time to look for alternate routes in case of traffic jams and other causes of delays. Having enough time to figure out what to do and implement options will reduce stress, anxiety, and road rage.
Aggressive driving will not get you to your destination safely. Not at all times, you can get away with everything, so prevention is better than cure. Before engaging in reckless or aggressive driving, do not forget to ask yourself if going on a road rage will be worth risking lives.