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Lawrence Egerton
Lawrence Egerton
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How to Avoid Road Rage

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We’ve all made mistakes on the road, but sometimes people have extreme reactions when they get cut off or get stuck behind someone driving slower than they’d like. And some people just have plain “road rage.”

Road rage is “an extreme case of aggressive driving” when a driver displays “visibly angry or violent behavior.” Sometimes it’s difficult to avoid drivers with road rage, but here are a few tips about how to handle such a situation:

1) Stay cool, calm and collected. Don’t “fight fire with fire!”

2) Avoid eye contact.

3) Never make obscene gestures! Don’t satisfy an enraged driver with a reaction.

4) If you’re moving slower than the vehicles around you, move out of the left lane.

5) Call the police if you feel threatened or unsafe.

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    A short, but good post. I especially appreciated the statement that Road Rage is “an extreme case of aggressive driving”, a little understood point that we have been making for some time.

    One additional point I would make is that it is not enough to not make obscene gestures. One needs to be careful about any gesture that might be interpreted by an angry driver as inflammatory.

    We had a women in a class who threw up her hands in a “whats the big rush” way after she was finally able to pull over to let a tailgater go by. The tailgater (also a women), pulled back behind the driver and follwed her to the mall, got out of her car and started banging on the storeyteller’s window – which eventually required police intervention.

    Her gesture was really just a way of expressing her own frustration and was not really meant for the other driver, but that is not the way it was interpreted.

    We teach behavior-modification based driver safety (www.driversafetyresources.com if you are interested) and we talk a lot about not letting other drivers control your emotions.

    Jim Hoffheimer