We all have been in that situation at some point in our lives: a driver acts aggressively or recklessly and we run the risk of losing control and escalating the conflict, particularly if we are stressed or having a bad day.
Dealing with an aggressive driver can be stressful and potentially dangerous. Unfortunately, road rage is on the rise, so it’s important to be prepared when we face it ourselves.
Follow these tips to stay safe when you deal with an aggressive or dangerous driver. If you keep your anger in check and take responsibility for your own actions, you should be able to manage the conflict without losing your temper.
Control Your Anger
The first step to take is to be aware of your own anger and keep your temper in check. If the other driver is overly aggressive you may think your feelings are justified, but road rage can lead to serious incidents. Take a deep breath and stay focused. Avoid making obscene gestures, since they can lead to an escalation of the conflict.
Once the incident is over you may want to talk about it with a relative or close friend so you can decompress and get an outside perspective of the situation.
Avoid Making Eye Contact
When you deal with an aggressive driver, avoid making eye contact with them. Generally speaking, the best is to avoid any kind of physical interaction with an aggressive driver, but even the mere fact of exchanging glances can trigger a violent response if the other person is extremely agitated.
Report If Necessary
In some states there is a number you can use to report dangerous drivers. Save it on your phone, or keep it at hand somewhere inside your car so you can get it contact with the appropriate law enforcement agency. If you decide to do so, make sure to provide information regarding the location of the incident, the appearance of the driver and the license plate of the vehicle involved.
There are specific techniques of defensive driving you can use to stay safe on the road. At CSD we offer training and evaluation services to provide you with the skills you need to be proactive about your safety. We also offer refresher training that you can take to stay sharp and focused when it comes to avoiding danger while you drive.
Remember: You Can Only Control Yourself
Finally, when you deal with aggressive drivers, it’s important to realize that you can only control yourself. Be mindful of your own emotions and take responsibility for them. Reduce your own stress, don’t take the incident personally and stay safe.