New and inexperienced drivers always wonder how to deal with hostile and aggressive drivers. Road rage is a common challenge, especially in summer or during holidays when many people are on the road. Many road users mean more traffic and reduced driving speed, irritating some drivers. So what should relatively new drivers do when they come across angry drivers? This piece highlights a few tips on how to deal with aggressive drivers and enhance safety on the road.
Identify Aggressive Driving
How can one identify an aggressive driver? The common signs of an aggressive driver include unsafe driving habits such as speeding, changing lanes recklessly, verbal insults, tailgating, running red lights, and displaying rude gestures for no apparent reason. Identifying aggressive drivers is the first step toward dealing with angry drivers. However, an inexperienced driver may take longer to identify an aggressive motorist and become a victim of road rage.
Aggressive drivers typically seek opportunities to conflict with other motorists, which might lead to unsafe situations. Therefore, it is advisable to only respond to them when necessary. Being polite and courteous can help cool the situation. Additionally, maintain a reasonable distance behind the aggressive driver and allow a few cars in front to avoid traffic violations associated with the aggressive driver.
Allow the Aggressive Driver to Pass
Angry drivers are usually speeding and might pour their anger on anyone preventing them from achieving their goal. Therefore, moving aside and letting them pass can help avoid conflict. It is advisable to continue driving as usual when the aggressive driver is far ahead. However, if the situation causes anxiety, consider pulling over at a safe location to relax and gain composure before resuming.
Avoid Using the Horn
Beeping at the aggressive driver will likely worsen the situation. Therefore, avoid using the horn to warn a driver who drives recklessly because doing so might make them more aggressive. Some drivers try to speed up to avoid the aggressive driver, but driving unsafely could lead to an accident or traffic violation.
Regardless of other drivers’ behavior, stay vigilant and conscious of the surrounding. For example, avoid using a phone, operating the radio, or reading papers while driving. Instead, focus on the aggressive driver and other road users to take action if necessary. Concentrating on the road ensures a quick response if anyone makes a risky maneuver or appears too occupied to focus on the road.
Do Not Drive Home or to a Private Location
Anyone may be tempted to drive back home or their place of work if an aggressive driver follows them. However, this is not a good idea because the offending motorist could get a chance to cause harm. Therefore, it is best to drive to public locations or a police station for safety. Remember to lock the car doors and drive safely towards safe areas with many people.
If a driver an aggressive driver is persistent, pull over and contact the police. Remember to stop in a safe place and wait for the authorities to respond. Do not leave the vehicle or roll down the windows.
Aggressive driving is a common challenge on most roads, especially with high traffic. Recognizing an aggressive driver can help control the situation and enhance safety. Therefore, allow the driver to pass, maintain a reasonable distance, stay vigilant, and report the behavior to the authorities. Defensive driving skills can also be helpful when dealing with an aggressive motorist.