How to Handle Aggressive Drivers & Avoid Road Rage

How to Handle Aggressive Drivers & Avoid Road Rage

Take a deep breath, here we go. Dealing with aggressive drivers is something that we have all had to endure. There are times on the road when we are just minding our business, driving to work or to the store, not a care in the world, when suddenly another driver takes their anger out on us. Sometimes it seems like this behavior comes out of nowhere. What could we have done to this other driver? 

Learning how to handle aggressive drivers is a practice steeped in meditation, Zen, or even mental yoga. You can’t let these angry lunatics dictate how you drive. Again, deep breaths. 

Unfortunately, almost 50% of drivers will become aggressive because of the other driver’s aggressive behavior. That means, if you don’t learn how to handle aggressive drivers, they will easily transfer that aggression to you one out of every two interactions. 

Let’s end this vicious cycle. And it all starts with you. 

Understanding Road Rage & Aggressive Driving

Road Rage refers to an instance where a driver commits a moving traffic offense with the intent to endanger the lives and property of others. This can escalate to a point where a vehicle or a weapon has been used by the driver or passenger to assault other motorists or pedestrians on the road. Both scenarios fall under road rage and are criminal offenses subject to time in jail.

Aggressive Driving refers to the way a driver operates their vehicle, usually speeding, running lights, and cutting off other drivers. Though almost all road rage includes some form of aggressive driving, not all aggressive driving is a result of road rage. Some drivers will always drive aggressively, regardless of mood or circumstance. 

The good thing is that, as motorists, dealing with aggressive drivers is easy if you know how to handle the situation. 

Handling Road Rage

Road rage is something that can be avoided. And if you do your best to keep your anger under control, you may be able to end the cycle on the road. 

  • Avoid reacting to insults, gestures, and other rude behavior.
  • Avoid responding verbally or behaviorally, instead back off, and give the other driver room to leave or speed off out of your way.
  • Keep distance from drivers who are speeding or showing some form of anxiety.
  • Avoid engaging the aggressive driver by not establishing eye contact.
  • Avoid trying to take advantage and to teach someone a lesson on the road.

Instead, you can make a positive gesture to handle road rage and avoid it to happen to others and you.

  • Tolerate other drivers and show empathy. Maybe they are having the worst day of their lives. Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. 
  • Forgive and realize that you can sometimes commit mistakes.
  • Help and show courtesy to other drivers, and yes even the rude ones.
  • Show a sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine after all. 

Handling Aggressive Drivers

happy driver

You can handle aggressive drivers by avoiding situations that would likely cause aggressive behavior. When learning how to handle aggressive drivers, you must understand that your reaction is almost the only thing you can control. So, control that, and keep your own emotions in check when you can. 

  • Assume that the mistakes of other drivers are not personal so that you can avoid conflict.
  • The right of way should be given to you by other drivers, otherwise don’t attempt to take it.
  • Incoming vehicles can be sensitive to high beam when driving at incoming traffic, so turn to low beam immediately.
  • Avoid driving with the high beam headlight is on when behind another vehicle.
  • Practice courtesy on the road just as being in a social environment. Note that you can’t control traffic, but you can control how you respond to it.

Remember that other drivers can become aggressive or enraged. The best way to handle these situations is to avoid aggravating any incident by losing your cool. If you are in a bad situation, always seek help from authorities nearby or call 911 for emergency assistance. 

Every day poses a challenge to motorists who are faced with stressful conditions on the road. This is the main reason why a lot of people get into aggressive driving or road rage because some can’t handle the stress very well. Keep your cool, and if you get into an accident, be sure to call a car accident lawyer to fight for you. Now you know how to handle aggressive drivers!


Sources:

Ryan Kemp

Ryan Kemp is an avid advocate for safe driving and spends most of his commute listening to calming sounds and good podcasts! Ryan hails from South Africa and graduated from Florida Atlantic University here in the Sunshine state. Ryan hopes to spread the message that safe driving and calm driving can change the world and save lives. All we need to do is pull over and smell the roses.

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