Many people have a tendency to react angrily when they’re driving. If stress and anxiety erode a driver’s normal inhibitions, it can lead to aggressive or even violent behavior behind the wheel.
Getting enough sleep, staying calm and avoiding distractions are keys to safe driving. However, even the best drivers make mistakes and get aggravated sometimes.
When drivers are speeding, they can cause serious problems for other road users. It can also lead to more aggressive driving, which can cause more accidents.
Feelings of road rage are more likely to occur during the summer months and around 5 p.m., according to a study by the Auto Insurance Center. The feelings can escalate into physical confrontations, so it’s important to stay calm when you encounter someone behaving aggressively on the road.
It’s also a good idea to avoid driving when you’re tired, as this can cause stress and even trigger road rage. Get enough sleep each night and plan your day so you have plenty of time to reach your destination. This will help prevent you from getting angry at other drivers, which can be dangerous for everyone on the road.
Using a phone while driving can make drivers more likely to be distracted and act aggressively towards other motorists. This can be a big trigger for road rage, and can cause accidents that may endanger everyone on the highway.
Another common road rage trigger is rude gestures, such as flipping someone off or yelling profanities. This can be especially dangerous if the person is already irritated from aggressive driving by another driver.
A triggered driver may even get out of their car to confront the driver that they feel wronged them, and in some cases this can escalate into extreme actions like smashing another vehicle’s window. To help prevent this from happening, try to calm down before getting behind the wheel after a long day at work and practice emotional regulation techniques. Keeping a photo of loved ones on your dashboard can also be helpful in regulating emotions when you’re driving.
3. Distracted Driving
Texting, eating or drinking, using the GPS, even changing the music can distract you from driving and increase your risk of a crash. It is important to stow your phone and avoid distractions while driving.
Practicing compassion while on the road can also help you avoid road rage. Remember that behind every driver is a person who has personal issues, like getting bad news or being late for work.
Many drivers engage in road rage behaviors because they feel that someone is taking advantage of them or their vehicle. Whether they are angrily honking their horn, cutting you off, blocking your path or making rude hand gestures, these drivers can put you and other drivers in danger. It’s better to take the high road and apologetically wave but avoid eye contact instead of responding to these types of behavior.
4. Lane Changes
When traffic gets heavy, some drivers may need to change lanes in order to get through the congestion. However, drivers should always signal before changing lanes and ensure that there is enough room in front of the vehicle they are passing and behind them to do so safely.
If a driver is moving into a lane that another driver is already in, it can be frustrating and stressful for both motorists. This can lead to unsafe lane changes, cutting off other drivers or other aggressive driving behaviors. To avoid this, drivers should scan the area and check their mirrors frequently before making a lane change. It is also helpful to take less crowded routes if possible. This can reduce road rage triggers as well as improve your commute time and speed. Also, when changing lanes, drivers should always cancel their turn signal once they are back in the original lane.
5. Aggressive Driving
People with high anger tend to honk and drive more aggressively, making them a greater danger on the road. They also take things more personally, and are more likely to think about revenge. If an aggressive driver follows you, stay calm and call 911. Try to remember the license plate number if you can.
Don’t get even with someone else by responding to rude gestures or retaliating with your own. When someone sounds their horn, don’t retaliate by sounding yours back; this will only escalate the situation and cause stress for everyone on the road. If you’re running late, leave a little earlier and keep your car in good working order so that you’ll be safe on the road. The extra effort is worth it if you can avoid getting into a dangerous situation. It might even save your life.
6. Cutting Off
When drivers are stressed on the road, they are more likely to snap. Cutting off other drivers can trigger aggression, and even a minor incident may escalate into an accident that injures or kills someone. Be careful when you are in the UK’s angriest drivers area to prevent road rage that might involve you.
When you see another driver driving recklessly, try to remember that they aren’t always a rude and aggressive so-and-so. They could be late for a big meeting at work or heading to visit their sick wife in the hospital.
By practicing defensive driving tactics, you can prevent a brief moment of anger from turning into a fatal road rage incident. Also, be sure to get plenty of sleep, as chronic sleep deprivation can erode your normal inhibitions and lead to a more serious response to a stressful situation. It’s important to understand the difference between road rage and aggressive driving, which is a traffic offense.
Even the calmest drivers experience that familiar tightening in their stomach when some bozo cuts you off, goes 10 mph over the speed limit, or slows down when you’re trying to pass. While these incidents may feel minor, they can lead to road rage and pose serious safety risks for you and other drivers.
High-anger drivers are more likely to act aggressively and think about revenge when they’re behind the wheel, leading them to drive recklessly. They are more likely to speed, rapidly switch lanes, tailgate, and use their brakes inconsistently, putting themselves and other drivers at risk of an accident. Other dangerous behaviors of a raging driver include honking, flashing their headlights to get the attention of other drivers and making obscene gestures. These behaviors can cause accidents, injuries and even death. The best way to avoid these dangerous driving habits is to practice safe and defensive driving skills and to leave plenty of time for your trip.
8. Passing on the Right
Whether they are angry about a traffic jam or another driver’s behavior, drivers sometimes get frustrated and start driving aggressively. Some, known as “road ragers,” even cross the line into dangerous or violent behaviors that put lives at risk.
Passing on the right can be a deadly mistake. It is only acceptable to overtake vehicles from the right on a one-way road that is wide enough for two lanes and under safe conditions.
Anger and aggression on the road can lead to fatal car accidents. To avoid being a victim of road rage, keep yourself calm by breathing deeply or listening to soothing music while you drive. And don’t use your horn to lash out at other drivers for perceived slights. Instead, pull over if it is safe to do so and call 9-1-1. Then take a deep breath, count to 10, and move on.
9. Taking a Short Cut
No one can completely avoid being irritated by rude or aggressive driving habits of other drivers on the road. The anger that sets in as a result of these actions can lead to serious confrontation and even violence.
You can’t control the driving behavior of other drivers, but you can take steps to prevent yourself from acting on your anger and frustration with their erratic driving. You can do this by leaving earlier for your destination so you don’t feel rushed, and listening to calming music or a podcast while driving. It’s also important to practice empathy, believing that the other driver may have a legitimate reason for their driving decisions such as being late to an important meeting. This helps keep the emotions of both parties in check and prevents them from escalating to an angry confrontation.
10. Being Late
Road rage often escalates from a minor incident to something more serious. The rage can turn into aggressive driving such as tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, driving over the speed limit, making rude gestures and cutting other drivers off.
Sometimes, the person exhibiting the road rage can get out of their vehicle and confront another driver or pedestrian. This can lead to violence. One example of this is the case of Aiden Leos, a six-year old boy who was shot by an angry driver while sitting in his booster seat.
The key to avoiding road rage is to practice self-control. This includes getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol and leaving early to ensure you are not rushed on your drive. It also helps to have a well-maintained vehicle that is functioning properly. In-traffic strategies include staying calm and counting to ten.