Road Rage Isn’t Just for Bad DriversApril 28, 2016
When we see road rage on the highway we tend to immediately associate it with bad drivers. “Of course that person must be crazy, just look at how poorly they’re driving.” In reality, road rage tends to precede poor or even reckless driving. You don’t need to be a bad driver to be susceptible to road rage; compare.com explains why it can happen to anyone and how to avoid it.
Only bad drivers have road rage
You might be surprised to learn that this isn’t always the case. Road rage can affect any driver. So what is road rage anyway? It is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “a motorist’s uncontrolled anger… expressed in aggressive or violent behavior”. Road rage can afflict any driver. It’s an intensified response to all the little annoyances that accompany a daily commute or a lengthy road trip. Often it’s in response to bad drivers who are causing additional irritation to the average drivers who are stuck in traffic with them. The first step to dealing with road rage is recognizing that it can happen to anyone.
What to do about road rage drivers
Regardless of how they are driving, don’t engage them. Even good drivers can be tempted to not let a road raging driver merge into their lane, honk at them, or flash their lights. This sort of engagement with drivers suffering from road rage only makes a bad situation worse. The best thing you can do is stay out of their way and be a friendly and courteous driver. Don’t respond to any of their negative actions and do your best to remove yourself from the situation.
Sometimes that will be enough to diffuse a situation. However, sometimes just letting them be can also be dangerous. If you see a driver whom you fear is likely to cause someone harm, don’t hesitate to report them to the police. You will likely need their license plate number and information regarding your current location, as well as a description of the offending driver’s driving.
How to avoid getting road rage yourself
Do you feel like you’re the only good driver on the road? Does it seem like nobody on the highway has a clue about what they are doing? Maybe you’re getting hot around the collar over the guy who cut you off while talking on his cell phone? We understand your frustration, but it’s important not to let your anger get out of control. According to Stress.About.com (the stress management arm of About.com), here are some of the top ways to cool your jets before you do something you’ll likely regret.
- Mind what you listen to in the car. Maybe that thrash album (or talk radio) isn’t the best thing to listen to while driving in heavy traffic. If you have a tendency to listen to things that get your blood pumping more than it should while driving a vehicle, try listening to something different.
- Take a deep breath. You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s still good advice. A couple deep breaths do actually help calm you down. It also requires you to take a moment and pause, which can give your brain enough time to see that what you’re really mad about isn’t going to be the end of the world.
- Plan ahead. We often become frustrated while driving because we’re in a hurry. Don’t be. Plan your day so that you leave in plenty of time to get where you’re going. That way, there’s no need to rush and you won’t be so quick to get angry at the guy driving five miles per hour under the speed limit.
What to do if another driver’s road range is putting you in danger
We hear about these stories every so often, but we rarely expect them to happen to us. Whether another driver is endangering you with how they are driving on the highway, or whether another driver is brandishing a weapon, if you are put in danger due to someone else’s road rage get out of the situation. If the other driver is being aggressive because they aren’t getting something they want (you to get out of their way, you to let them merge, etc.) do your best to give it to them and then report them. If their behavior is bad enough that you are in fear for your personal safety, you’re justified in notifying the police. If the driver brandishes a weapon, particularly a firearm, get out of the way. If necessary, get off the highway and head for a populated place. Be sure to call the police and, ideally, have them meet you at your destination or somewhere along the route. When it comes to road rage and bad drivers, don’t take chances.
Car Safety Guides
Safety is one of the most important aspects of a car. We’ve written a number of car safety guides to help you stay informed and brush up on some not-so-common driving knowledge. The safer you are, the less you pay.Read through the car safety guides below for tips on how to be the safest you can be in your car and on the road. Even if you’re a good driver, a little extra info can keep you that much safer.