Most of us have heard of or maybe experienced a crazy road rager. You know… the guy (or gal) who is tailgating you, beeping his horn, giving you those rude hand gestures or trying to provoke you into a situation where he can bully you or take his frustrations out on you. You may encounter them anywhere, in bumper to bumper traffic or on quiet country roads. You may encounter your road rager when you are on your way to work, when you are alone by yourself or worse with your young children. Your goal for dealing with road ragers is to be able to disengage from them without suffering any lasting consequence to you, your vehicle or any other people who may be with you.
Here are the 10 best tips for coping with road rage:
1. Do not engage the other driver that may make the situation worse. Do not brake abruptly, do not flash your lights or swerve towards the vehicle or make any aggressive moves.
2. If you are in the overtaking lane, change lanes to let the road rager pass you.
3. If the road rager attempts to engage you while he is next to you, keep your windows rolled up and politely wave and mouth the words I’m sorry. This simple gesture can often defuse the situation.
4. Do not make eye contact with the road rager, do not make any face gestures and do not make any hand gestures or salutes. You do not need to make a point or win the situation with the road rager, you just want to get rid of them and get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
5. Do not engage in the contest to see who can make the most noise with your car horn. Car horn noises are not attempts at communication.
6. If the road rager does pass you, leave lots of space between you and him and if possible let other vehicles get in between the two of you. Distance is your advantage and once he gone past you, you do not want to come back into his attention.
7. If the road rager persists and you feel threatened, call the police and provide the operator with all of the vehicle details. This will allow police to identify the suspect and take action.
8. If the road rager begins to follow you, do not head to your residence or workplace. Drive towards a police station.
9. If you end up stopped in traffic, ignore the rager as much as possible, lock your doors, indicate that you are on the phone to police and never roll down the window or get out of the vehicle. Remember that a road rager is not functioning on a logical thinking process and may have access to weapons and may use them without further provocation.
10. Once the road rager is out of sight, take a deep breath and relax to get rid of the stress that the situation has caused you.
If we think back to our own personal driving experiences, we have probably encountered drivers that drive in such a fashion that drives us crazy. These are the drivers who tailgate, drive too aggressively, become frustrated, honk their horns and generally behave poorly. At times we should remember that perhaps we have inadvertently cut someone else off or followed someone a little too closely for their comfort level. Sometimes driving behaviours can be inadvertent caused by poor habits, distraction or other factors. In these cases, it may be a little easier to forgive other drivers when we think back on the times when we were not perfect drivers. “Live and Let Live” may be a good position to adopt and live by.
Sometimes when we are dealing with pure road ragers who are mad at the world we should adopt a position where we should not take their actions personally. Removing the personalisation may be very hard to do as it really feels that it is personal and that other person has really jeopardized your safety. Revenge is something that we may consider. However, make sure it is not physical revenge. Don’t be tempted to follow them and damage their car. If you want revenge first report them to the police and then report them at http://www.MyRoadRage.com
Somewhere we have probably seen a really large person unfold themselves from a really small car. We may not consider what substances that may be fuelling the road rager’s attitude and their aptitude for fighting and their access or fondness for carrying and using weapons. The media is full of examples of road rage shootings, stabbings and beatings inflicted by baseball bats and golf clubs etc.
There are other strategies that may help us from taking on other drivers frustrations while driving and becoming road ragers ourselves. Here are 6 strategies that may be helpful to you.
1. Take advantage of radio broadcasts that regularly update traffic conditions caused by road works, congestion and crashes.
2. Leave for our destination in good time that does not leave you feeling “rushed” to get there. Remember that “Murphy’s Law” does kick in and construction, congestion and crashes are all parts of driving.
3. Have a copy of your favourite relaxing music available when that commuter traffic is all backed up.
4. You cannot control other driver’s actions but by being polite and courteous, you can make other drivers believe that you are a great driver in a poor driving situation.
5. Remember to breathe… relax your grip on the steering wheel and take several deep, slow breaths and remember that you are in a temporary situation. If you adopt a calmer more serene attitude there is a greater chance that “negative” situations will not occur and compound your situation.
6. Remember that there may be a police officer somewhere behind you in an unmarked car who is just looking for aggressive drivers who make lives miserable. You know how it felt when you saw that road rager or aggressive driver pulled over for his stupidity.
Don’t forget you can relieve all that stress by having a good rant about the road rager on http://www.MyRoadRage.com