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Dealing with Road Rage

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 30 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Road Rage Stressed Out Driving Road-rage

Most of us have been stressed out when we're driving.

However some people get so wound up that they cannot contain their anger and take it out on other road-users - resulting in an attack of what is known as 'road rage'.

Road rage usually consists of a bit of shouting and the odd unflattering hand signal, but it can spill over into something far more dangerous - sometimes with fatal results.

Although not a common occurrence, road rage has led to some serious attacks leaving unfortunate victims black and blue and in some more extreme cases, even dead.

So What is Road Rage?

Road rage is an emotion that has been recently developed due to our growing reliance on cars and other road-vehicles. These emotions can range from being slightly annoyed, to feeling all out murderous, so it's important to try and avoid it at all costs.

How do I Avoid it?

Sometimes there will be idiots on the road. It's a fact. Often, someone who is driving like an idiot will be doing it to get a rise out of someone, so don't let it be you. The minute you give the road-hog any indication that you're annoyed with them, you'll light their fuse paper and it will just be a matter of time before the problem escalates.

Sometimes, mistakes will happen. Just because someone performs a dangerous and idiotic manoeuvre doesn't automatically mean that they are dangerous and idiotic - they may just be having a really bad day, so think about the last time you made a silly mistake, calm down and try and forget about it.

If the person is continually making odd manoeuvres, move as far away from them as possible. Remember that your life is worth far more than a stupid argument with someone you don't even know.

What if it's me That Caused The Road Rage?

Make sure that the driver who is angry with you sees you apologise. Hold your hand up and say it was your fault. This should hopefully calm them down a bit.

Wherever possible, do not make eye contact with an enraged driver. Stay calm and don't be intimidated by anyone driving around you. Make sure your windows are closed and your doors are locked.

How Can I Avoid Angering Other Road Users?

By following these simple tips, you should be able to keep on the right side of your fellow motorists - give or take the odd mistake of course!

Always keep a good distance between you and the car in front of you. It's not a nice feeling to have someone riding your bumper, and it's one of the most common causes of accidents. The Highway Code clearly states that any car following another is responsible for stopping in time, no matter what manoeuvre has just been carried out - so if you're driving too close to the car in front and they slam on - you hit them, it's your fault. Not worth the hassle.

What to do if They Won't Give up

As mentioned earlier, don't make eye contact. Don't retaliate to anything they are saying or doing, and if you are really worried that the situation could escalate, then go to the nearest police station. Usually someone following you will realise what you are doing and will drive away.

Whatever you do, do not go home if an angry driver is following you. You don't want to show them where you live.

Road Rage While Parking

Don't assume that all road race incidents occur while you're on the road. Sometimes cutting someone up to get that last parking space can enrage them so much that it can incite a road rage attack when your car is stationery, so follow these tips to make sure that you don't end up in a confrontation when you're parking your car.
  1. Use common sense and common courtesy. Avoid any situations that you feel might upset another driver.
  2. Take steps to bring down your own stress levels, so you're less susceptible to 'snapping' and taking your anger out on someone else.
  3. Think about the consequences before you have a go at someone for cutting you up or 'stealing' your parking space. Chances are, it's really not worth it.

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