There are a number of safe driving techniques motorists can use to avoid confrontations with aggressive drivers and to reduce the likelihood of provoking road rage in others. These techniques include:

  • Pay attention to your driving and keep your eyes on the road
  • Do not tailgate
  • Use turn signals
  • Do not block the passing lane
  • If you’re holding up traffic, pull over
  • In parking lots, look before backing up, don’t steal spaces or hit other vehicles with your door
  • Be courteous even when others aren’t
  • Do not over-use your horn
  • Keep the radio at a low or moderate level
  • Assume other drivers’ mistakes aren’t intentional
  • If confronted by an aggressive or violent driver: get out of the way; don’t return hostility; avoid eye contact and obscene or threatening gestures
  • Drive with doors locked and windows closed
  • Leave space between yourself and vehicle ahead
  • If an aggressive or violent person approaches your vehicle, don’t get out
  • If followed, drive to a police or sheriffs station or other location where help is available
  • Report aggressive driving or road rage incidents to the authorities
  • Avoid driving when tired or emotionally upset
  • Prepare your vehicle: clean the windshield, adjust driver’s seat and climate controls
  • If possible, avoid driving during rush hour
  • Plan your route and allow plenty of time
  • Stay calm and relaxed
  • Drive cooperatively
  • Apologize in a confrontation with another driver, even if you feel you are in the right

 

These simple acts of courtesy can help prevent road rage in other drivers, but you must be conscious of your own emotions to prevent yourself from engaging in acts of road rage. When you are feeling strong emotions, even positive ones, do not drive until you can get them under control. The most obvious link between emotions and aggressive driving or road rage is anger. Don’t “miss the mark” because you are angry; you alone are responsible for managing and controlling your anger.

 

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