One day, you’ll leave an hour early to arrive at an appointment or get-together. You’re excited, you’re set to go, and you’re ready to kick the day off right.
But before you make it 10 feet out the door, another driver beeps their horn and flips you off, screeching to a halt right in front of you. You slam on the brakes, and before you can let out a cuss word, the driver cuts you off again, banging their brakes and honking their horn to no end.
Sit back, take a deep breath, and summon some presence of mind. Here are ways to deal with rage on the road.
Stay Calm and Keep Driving
First, try to stay calm and avoid getting angry yourself. This can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that getting angry will only make the situation worse. If the aggressive driver is yelling or gesturing, just ignore them and focus on driving safely.
Give Them Space
One of the best things you can do when dealing with an angry driver is to simply give them space. If they’re tailgating you, change lanes and let them pass. If they’re trying to cut you off, let them go. If they’re getting angry because you’re going too slow, pull over and let them pass.
Don’t Make Eye Contact
If you see another driver who appears to be angry or impatient, it’s best to avoid making eye contact. This way, you avoid intimidating them and prevent full-blown, uncontrolled anger and possibly violent behavior.
Don’t Go Home
If you’re feeling seriously threatened, don’t go to your home, work, or any place you spend a lot of time in. If you have one of those trucker hats, you might want to wear one to make yourself somewhat unrecognizable. Go to a police station instead or drive to a busy public area with a lot of witnesses.
Call the Cops
If the angry driver is charging at you, don’t engage them. Keep your doors locked and your windows up, be still and call the police. Describe the other driver’s car and license plate number, and try to stay on the line with the dispatcher until the police arrive.
Prevent Rage on the Road
Whatever you do, don’t engage an angry driver or get angry yourself. This will only escalate rage on the road. Try to stay calm, be polite, and defuse the situation as best as you can.
Even better, if you can help it, steer clear of driving at night or during rush hour if possible. Take a few moments to compose yourself and keep in mind that the vast majority of irate drivers are just having a bad day. Don’t give in and let them mess up yours. Even better, if you can help it, steer clear of driving at night or during rush hour if possible. Take a few moments to compose yourself and keep in mind that the vast majority of irate drivers are just having a bad day. Don’t give in and let them mess up yours.
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