Road rage is a serious problem that affects millions of drivers every year. Road rage can also lead to injuries, property damage, legal consequences and increased insurance premiums. But, how can I avoid road rage and stay safe on the road?
What is road rage?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving is a factor in 66% of traffic fatalities, and road rage has been responsible for about 300 deaths since 2013. Road rage is defined as extreme anger or aggression that is expressed by a driver toward another driver or road user, with the intention of causing harm or intimidation.
Road rage prevention
Stay calm and safe on the road. Plan ahead and leave early. Give yourself enough time to reach your destination without rushing or stressing. Avoid driving during peak hours or on congested routes, if possible. Check the traffic and weather conditions before you leave and adjust your route accordingly.
Be courteous and respectful
Treat other drivers and road users as you would like to be treated. Follow the rules of the road and signal your intentions clearly. Do not speed, weave, tailgate or cut off other drivers. Do not block intersections, lanes or exits. Do not use your horn, lights or gestures to express anger or annoyance.
Do not take it personally
Do not assume that other drivers are trying to provoke you. They may be distracted, inexperienced or unaware of their actions. Do not let their mistakes affect your judgment. Do not react to their aggression with more aggression. Ignore them. Focus on your own driving. If another driver is behaving aggressively toward you, do not respond. Do not make eye contact, gesture, yell or honk. Do not follow them or try to confront them. Keep your distance and avoid escalating the situation.
Driving can be stressful and frustrating at times, but you can control how you cope with it. Before you drive, make sure you are in a good mental and physical state. Avoid driving if you are tired, angry, depressed, intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Listen to soothing music, practice deep breathing or use positive affirmations to calm yourself down.
Seek help if needed
If you feel threatened or endangered by another driver’s behavior, do not hesitate to call 911 or seek help from a nearby police station. Try to get their license plate number and description of their vehicle and driver, if possible. Do not get out of your car. By following these tips, you can avoid road rage and stay safe on the road.