For drivers, encountering road rage situations on the job is less a matter of if… and more a matter of when. It seems like everyday commuters and travelers become less patient, more aggressive, and worst of all – are more distracted while driving than ever before.
We all know that it’s inevitable – there are going to be jerks on the road no matter what. This leads us to wonder if there really is a ‘good’ way to deal with this sort of situation. Does it make more sense to be assertive and stand your ground, or to ignore the situation in hopes of preventing escalation?
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has done a bit of research on the subject of dealing with road rage, and have provided some pretty valuable insight:
It makes perfect sense that reacting aggressively to being cut off or tailgated by an erratic driver can only lead to trouble. The DMV suggests that in the event of being cut off is to remain calm, back off a little, and take a deep breath – let the aggressive drivers get past you and on their speedy way.
Don’t be an aggressive driver yourself. Habits such as tailgating, honking, light flashing, rapid lane changing, using hand gestures, or distracted driving are all characteristics of an aggressive driver. Evaluate yourself, and work to change any of these poor driving habits.
According to the DMV, you’ll also want to be sure that you’re not instigating anything out on the roadways, or practicing driving habits that could irritate other drivers. These types of behaviors include driving under the speed limit, refusing to use turning signals, slowing excessively before taking exits, failing to maintain consistent speeds, or hogging a lane.
While on the roadways, you should be considerate of the other motorists at all times, and respectful of speed limits.
Acknowledge and apologize for any mistakes you may have made on the roadway – be sure to avoid hand gestures which could be misinterpreted as offensive, and always stay in your vehicle.
If the situation were to escalate to the point where you’re feeling threatened in an instance of road rage, protect yourself – call the police if necessary, or roll up the windows, look dead ahead, and drive yourself to the nearest police/fire station. The individual with road rage will more than likely step off, and if the harassment doesn’t stop there – you’re in the right place to have it dealt with.