How to Deal with Agressive Drivers?
Are you familiar with this script: you’re driving along, listening to your favorite tune on the radio and simply enjoying the road, when all of a sudden a car going like crazy overtakes you and cuts you off? What about this one: you’ve stopped at a Stop traffic sign, and the driver of the car behind you lays on the horn, making angry hand gestures along the way? Or this one: the driver of the car, which has just pulled up next to you, lowers their car window and starts talking to you in a nervous manner?
If you’ve been driving long enough, it’s safe to assume you’re pretty acquainted with all of the aforementioned scripts, but what most drivers are eager to find out is how to react in such situations. Well, let’s see what we can do to shed some light on the subject…
The Use of Self-knowledge as a Prevention Tool
In order for you to deal with aggressive drivers, first you must make sure that your level of aggressiveness has been reduced to a minimum, so as to avoid adding insult to injury. You will most likely accomplish that by:
- Leaving on time, so as to avoid anxiety and the pressure of having to have a perfect “lap” time;
- Listening to relaxing music, so as to relieve yourself of any kind of tension;
Read our article that examines the influence of music on driving
- Having in mind the potential consequences of an uncontrolled outburst, so as to avoid situations, such as paying a fine or, in case of a serious fallout, going to prison or getting injured;
- Limiting the use of a siren and headlight flashing to when it’s really necessary to do so, so as to avoid contributing to the aggressiveness of other drivers;
- Pulling over for a moment and taking a deep breath, in case you’re feeling stressed out, so as to relieve yourself of negative energy;
- Acting as if you’ve got someone in the car with you, so as to decrease the chances of losing self-control;
- Adjusting the back of your seat, turning on the air conditioner if needed and having a refreshment in the form of a non-alcoholic beverage with you, so as to ensure the maximum level of comfort and calmness while driving;
- Accepting the fact that it’s human to make mistakes, so as to not take other drivers’ slip ups personally;
Read our article on “10 most dangerous driving mistakes”
- Having in mind that, regardless of how nervous you might feel at a particular moment in time, there’s always someone feeling even more nervous, so as to resist your urge to engage in a conflict.
Smart Reaction is the Best Action
Despite the fact that there’s no room for aggressiveness in traffic, make sure you don’t give anyone a reason to be aggressive by driving in accordance with the regulations and by not staring at other drivers. If, in spite of all this, an unwanted situation in the form of another driver unleashing their rage on you present itself, follow these pieces of advice:
- First and foremost, remain calm and don’t let fear and rage overcome you, so as to be able to evaluate the course of events realistically and find an optimal solution to the problem;
- Pick up your cell phone, press it against your ear and pretend that you’re talking on it, so as to give the impression that you’re calling your friends or the police for help (if the situation becomes serious, really call the police, but before you do that, MAKE SURE you leave the traffic for safety reasons);
- Try to remember as much information as possible about the car the driver compromising your safety is driving, such as the license plate number, the model of the car and the car’s color, so as to be able to report them to the police for any potential harm;
- If you’re driving through a place frequented by people, leave the traffic and ask for help from some of the people passing by, whereas if you spot a police car, pull up next to it and inform the policemen sitting in it of the current situation, so as to scare off the aggressive driver, thus putting an end to their harassment;
- If you notice that the car, whose driver has been unpleasant to you, is following you, leave the street you’re driving in, so as to discourage the aggressive driver, who probably has a destination of their own to reach within a certain period of time, from further following you (if you’re on the highway, get off it);
- If you notice that the car, whose driver has been unpleasant to you, has continued following you even after you left the street you were driving in, don’t head for your home, but for the nearest police station, so as to decrease the chances of any kind of later hostilities taking place;
- Don’t leave your car, seeing it as it’s your best protection, but rather lock the doors and close the windows, so as to discourage the aggressive driver from leaving their car and potentially starting a fight or running you over;
- Be ready to fight, but ONLY AS A PART OF SELF-DEFENSE, so as to protect yourself from a potential physical attack of the aggressive driver.
Keeping Your Composure Is the Key
As you could’ve figured out while reading the aforementioned pieces of advice, the best way to deal with one’s aggressiveness in traffic is to soften it by resorting to the most preventive and safest solution. Furthermore, you should never take other drivers’ outbursts personally, seeing it as you never know the background.
A man can be rushing through traffic because his wife is in labor or because one of the members of his family has gotten sick. Perhaps he’s just anxious to get to a potential career-altering business meeting. These are all moments in which your aggressive reaction would cause the situation to escalate, thus putting you at the UNNECESSARY risk of a more serious conflict. So, keep calm and drive on.
Make sure you don’t miss our video titled “8 tips for safe driving”