How to Handle an Aggressive Driver?
Have you been on the roads lately? Traffic seems to be back to pre-pandemic levels, but the number of aggressive drivers certainly seems to have increased. According to a local news station, it’s not your imagination.
According to the article above, in 2021, over 500 people were killed or hurt in road rage incidents, including 44 people who were shot, double the pre-pandemic average!
So, how do you handle an aggressive driver? Here are a few tips:
1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Aggressive drivers make sudden moves, swerve, intimidate, and do what they need to get where they are going. Keep an eye on traffic not just in front of you, but beside and behind you as well. If you see a vehicle acting aggressive, do your best to avoid it by letting him pass.
2. Have an Escape Plan
Since aggressive drivers can make a sudden move without much warning, make sure you drive with an escape plan in mind. Do your best to avoid being “boxed in” or surrounded by cars. Always try and make sure you have space to take evasive action in the event an aggressive driver cuts you off, or tries to intimidate you by riding your bumper.
3. Avoid Eye Contact or Rude Gestures
Yes, sometimes you just feel like looking that jerk in the eyes and giving him a rude gesture. Avoid that temptation. If you’re faced with an aggressive driver, you’re already facing someone who has shown you they don’t care about anyone’s safety. Outright challenging them could result in even more aggression, this time aimed directly at you.
4. Drive Defensively
Don’t be part of the problem. Don’t fight aggression with aggression. Did somebody cut you off? Don’t try to speed up to cut them off later down the road. Is someone riding your bumper even though you’re in the right lane? Don’t “brake check” or hit your brakes suddenly. Not only can they turn you aggression back on you, but you might cause an accident and you will probably be found at fault if your excuse to the officer is “well, officer, he was being a jerk so I tried to teach him a lesson.”
5. Call 911 In An Emergency
If you’ve caught the attention of an aggressive driver, and he is harassing you to the point of you fearing for your safety, remain as calm as possible and call 911 Explain to the dispatcher the situation, and follow their instructions.
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