You’ve probably heard some crazy stories about road rage incidents. Some drivers even get violent and try to attack other road users. How can you prevent these situations from happening? Well, in this article, we’re going to share some practical tips on how to avoid road rage, read on to find out more!
Road rage happens when drivers get angry or irritated because they are stuck behind another car. This often leads to aggressive driving behaviour such as tailgating, honking, flashing lights, swerving, and even hitting other cars.
If you’ve ever experienced road rage behind the wheel, you’re not alone; it’s more common than you might think for drivers to lose their cool. If this ever happens to you, it’s important to remember to stay calm and avoid escalating the situation. If you see someone who seems angry or upset, don’t engage them. Instead, drive away safely or call 911 immediately if required.
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What Exactly Is Road Rage?
Road rage is defined as “an unexpected display of hostility while travelling on public roads.” Tailgating, weaving, speeding, and lane changing are all examples of aggressive driving and are part of road rage behaviour.
Some people are simply more prone to being irritable behind the wheel than others. However, this does not always occur. Drivers who are stressed, tired, or hungry behind the wheel are more irritable. And sometimes you don’t even realise you’re getting agitated until you see someone else doing something wrong.
What Is The Common Cause Of Road Rage?
Road rage can be in many forms and in a variety of bad driving behaviours, it’s difficult to pinpoint just one root cause of road rage – there are many factors involved. But what we did identify was that the majority of road rage incidents stem from either a bad decision or mistake or a bad response to someone else’s actions.
The research showed that nearly three-quarters of road rage incidents stemmed from a driver making a mistake or committing some form of driving offence, while around half of these resulted from a person reacting badly to another driver’s mistake or offence.
So how can you avoid becoming part of the statistics? Here are some tips to help you keep calm and cool behind the wheel:
1. Slow Down
Road rage is frequently the result of being stressed and in a hurry. Allow extra time for your various trips and commutes so that you can slow down and be more in control while driving.
2. Be Safety Conscious And Aware Of Your Surroundings
Driving can be dangerous if you are not careful; many accidents in the UK are caused by careless driving. Pay attention to your surroundings, particularly the behaviour of other drivers, this allows you to react if anything unexpected happens on the busy road.
3. Keep Your Cool And Respect Others
The driving journey can be stressful and aggravating especially if you’re in a hurry. Try to stay calm by avoiding excessive honking and impolite gestures. Instead, take deep breaths to reduce your stress and lower your blood pressure. Make sure to have enough rest before setting off your journey.
4. Avoid Tailgate And Cutting Traffic
Did you know that many road rage incidents that end in violence begin with tailgating and lane-splitting? If you’re polite and signal properly, a courteous person will let you pass them before they realize what’s happening
5. Take Control Of Your Reactions
Never act on your emotions and always listen to the voice of reason. While braking sharply to make the tailgating driver irritate may make you feel better, it can also result in an accident.
If you think the driver in front of you is driving too slow, check the speed limit; it may be you that speeding. Also, keep in mind that the slow driver in front of you could be someone visiting from out of town that is unfamiliar with the area, so be nice and give them some space.
6. Forgive Other Drivers
Try not to get angry if others drive poorly, simply ignore them as long as it doesn’t put you in a dangerous situation. Don’t try to teach them a lesson by displaying their poor driving. It is your responsibility to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
7. Resist The Urge To Retaliate
Remember, other drivers don’t know who you are, and you don’t know who they are, so it’s never personal. Road rage situation is usually caused by negative feelings toward others. Don’t try to take revenge on someone else as the safety of your passengers and you come first.
8. Be Polite – Say “Thank You” And “Sorry”
Good manners and behaviour inspire others to do the same. If you know you have made a mistake, saying sorry along with a polite gesture can help to defuse an angry or undesirable situation and prevent a direct conflict.
9. Make Yourself Relax In The Traffic Jam
If you’re stuck in traffic, try to remain calm because there’s nothing you can do about it. Listen to soft music and keep the temperature in your car at a comfortable level to create a relaxing environment that can reduce stress. You can also keep yourself entertained by listening to the radio, but not using your phone as this is now illegal and you can get a fine.
10. Pull Over And Stop On A Safe Place If Necessary
If your passengers are interrupting your ability to focus on the road, or if your children are fighting or making a mess in the back seat, don’t put up with the stress; instead, find a safe place to stop and take your time sorting things out before continuing your journey.
11. Protect Yourself From Road Rage
Protect yourself if you’re facing a raging driver and feel threatened. Stop your vehicle, lock the doors, and dial 911. Alternatively, drive away from the scene and seek assistance at the nearest police station.
We hope these tips will help you to stay calm on the busy road and have a safe journey. If you’re looking for an HGV driving job, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01604, our team is here to help you.