6 Ways to Avoid Road Rage

Road Rage is defined in Webster’s dictionary as: a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior. Here are 6 ways to avoid the sometimes deadly consequences of road rage.

1. Don’t Make Eye Contact

Studies show that many road rage incidents occur when drivers make eye contact with each other and a situation ensues. As a defensive driver, you need to realize that road rage drivers are often looking to instigate trouble. Making eye contact with these types of drivers is playing into their twisted game.

2. Giving yourself plenty of time to get to your destination

Knowing you may be running late automatically puts you into "speed mode" where you are more tempted to lose your patience and try to get around other drivers to get where you are going.

3. Never Try to Retaliate

Don’t honk your horn or make any gestures. Let them go. You can't change their erratic behavior and only law enforcement has the authority to correct the behavior.

4. Do Not Get out of Your Vehicle

Never get out of your vehicle if an aggressive driver leaves her vehicle. If you are trapped in traffic or at a red light, do not open your door or roll down your window if the other driver gets out and approaches you.

5. Take a Moment to Calm Down

"Sometimes, your temper may flare because another driver did something dangerous to put you and your passengers at risk," says Bruce Hamilton, coordinator of research and education with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "In those cases, it's natural to feel angry and shaken." He suggests pulling over to collect your thoughts. "De-escalation is key," Hamilton says.

6. Call 9-1-1

If things have escalated and you feel your safety is in jeopardy, you should report aggressive driving and road rage. Be ready with the vehicle description, license number, and location.

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