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How to Deal With Aggressive Drivers

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 30 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Driving Aggressive Drivers Road Rage

Do you lose your cool when other drivers cut you up and box you in? Here are some tips on how to cope with aggressive drivers.

What Is An Aggressive Driver?

An aggressive driver is one who refuses to stop at red lights. They break the speed limit, tailgate and meander in and out of traffic. They change lanes repeatedly in an unnecessary and unsafe manner, make hand and facial gestures at other drivers, and honk and flash their lights at other vehicles.

As they tend to drive too fast, this leads to them following the car in front too closely, changing lanes a lot and without indication, overtaking on the hard shoulder and verbally or physically jeering drivers who happen to be in front of them. Sometimes this leads to violence and road rage.

Tips For Coping With Aggressive Drivers

  • Drive conscientiously. Avoid situations which may aggravate other drivers.
  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Limit inappropriate hand and facial gestures.
  • Don't be tempted to use your horn at aggressive drivers. This only serves to draw their attention to you. Even a polite beep can be misconstrued.
  • Avoid making eye contact with aggressive drivers and be sure to leave them lots of room.
  • Distance yourself as much as possible.
  • Do not attempt to match their speed. This will only anger them further.
  • Wear your seat-belt in case you need to make sudden adjustments and it will protect you in an accident.
  • Inform the authorities of aggressive drivers. Report the vehicle description, registration plate details and location, along with the direction that they were heading in if possible. The colour and make of the car is also helpful, as is anything identifiable about the driver. This could potentially avoid a major accident.
  • If an aggressive driver is later involved in a crash, stop a little way from the scene and let the police know about the inappropriate driving that you saw when they arrive.
  • The Suzy Lamplugh Trust - the leading authority for personal safety- advises doing the following: "To put off a driver who is following you, a mobile phone or even a toy phone can be useful. Give the driver the impression that you are calling 999 and reading their license plate number to the police on the phone. There is a good chance they will stop pestering you." For more information, visit Suzy Lamplugh Trust .

How To Avoid Being An Aggressive Driver

  • Limit stress whilst driving - play calming music, plan ahead, and leave plenty of time to get to your destination. As the saying goes, better late than never.
  • Make sure to be polite, even if other drivers are not, in order to steer clear of arguments.
  • If another driver offends you, take a deep breath and let them past.
Ensure a gap of at least 2 seconds between yourself and the car in front in good driving conditions. When the car in front passes a fixed object such as a signpost, you should not pass the same spot for at least 2 seconds. In poorer driving conditions, increase this to between 4 and 10 seconds.

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