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Keeping your cool around aggressive drivers

Road rage and aggressive driving – including honking, tailgating or even verbal insults – can lead to dangerous situations. Handling road rage effectively can ensure both your safety and that of other road users. What should you do?

1. Drive defensively

Aggressive behaviors are all too common on today’s busy roads. In fact, as many as four out of five drivers on the road admit to driving aggressively in the past year. With so many potentially aggressive drivers on the road, it is essential to be aware of your surroundings behind the wheel. Maintain a safe following distance, use your turn signals and abide by speed limits.

Staying alert also means that you should always have an escape route in mind if you notice another driver behaving aggressively. Always have a way out should an incident escalate, and do not allow other cars to box you in.

2. Do not engage

Engaging directly with an aggressive driver could escalate the situation. Do not respond to any gestures, and do not return them. Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver, as they may perceive this as a confrontation. Keep your attention focused on the road and your driving.

3. Give them space

If someone is tailgating you or trying to engage in aggressive driving behaviors around you, do your best to safely increase the distance between your vehicle and theirs. If necessary, change lanes or pull over to let them pass. Your safety is more important than your position in traffic.

4. Report the other driver if you can

If you feel threatened by another driver, consider reporting the incident to the authorities. This can help prevent the aggressor from harming others. Useful information to share with the authorities includes a description of the driver as well as the license plate number, location and description of the event.

Sharing the road with an aggressive or angry driver can be alarming. However, by handling road rage incidents with patience and awareness, you can decrease the risk of a car accident and improve your ability to reach your destination safely.


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