Road Rage Prevention and Awareness In recent years, aggressive driving and road rage has increased on City streets. When provoked, angry drivers have been known to commit acts of violence, including assaults and murder. It is important to recognize the warning signs of aggressive driving in order to avoid becoming involved in a potentially hazardous situation. Examples of aggressive driving include: tailgating, cutting off other vehicles, careless lane changes, speeding, and running red lights. Extremely aggressive driving can lead to road rage. Signs to be aware of include: obscene gestures, verbal assaults, intentionally crashing into other vehicles, and threatening to use weapons.
In order to avoid engaging in a situation with a driver you suspect may be violent there are precautions you as a driver should take every time you get behind the wheel.Avoid offending other drivers
Some things that commonly provoke drivers to commit acts of violence include:
- Being cut off by other vehicles,
- Being tailgated,
- Drivers who do not signal their turns or lane changes,
- Driving behind a slow-moving vehicle in the fast lane of traffic,
- Drivers who do not pay attention because of cell phone use, looking for an address, applying makeup or being overcautious,
- Drivers stopping in a traffic lane to pick-up or drop-off passengers,
- Motorcyclists splitting traffic,
- Improper use of hi-beam headlights,
- Inconsiderate municipal bus and taxicab drivers, and
- Being the object of obscene gestures.
Do not engage other drivers. Avoid engaging other drivers, even if they have done something to make you angry or vice versa. Put as much distance between you and the other driver as possible and avoid making eye contact. Never pull off the roadway to confront another driver.
Change your attitude and approaches to driving. Avoid creating a competitive situation with another driver, even if they are at fault. In the end, it is a lose/lose situation that can cost you your life. Try not to take another personís bad driving personally. Their problems on and off the road have nothing to do with you.
Keeping your anger in check. When someone is upset or under stress, sometimes all it takes is something trivial to set a person on a course to road rage. These things might include excessive vehicle horn noise, someone taking too long to move at a green light or loud music from another vehicle. But none of these minor annoyances is worth putting you or others at risk. The following tips should help you avoid having a stressful time behind the wheel:
- Learn to manage the stress in your life,
- Try to avoid driving when you are angry,
- Allow plenty of time to get where you are going,
- Listen to traffic and weather reports to learn of traffic delays, and
- Listen to soothing music while driving.
If you suspect another driver is targeting you for an act of road rage or you are being followed, go to a safe place such as a police, fire or gas station where there are people. If you have a car phone, call the police immediately. DO NOT drive home!