Road rage is a real problem, and while we can’t control what other motorists do, we can look at things that we do in tense situations.
Motoring organisation, GEM Motoring Assist, says we should remember that some people believe it’s acceptable to behave on the road in a way they would never dream of behaving in other areas of their lives.
This is most likely because being in the car has the effect of dehumanising a situation of conflict.
With that in mind, GEM has identified these steps to help reduce the risk of being the target of someone else’s aggression:
Keep calm and show restraint
Every journey brings the risk of frustration and conflict. Make a pledge to be patient. Avoid using your horn or making gestures in anger.
Avoid competition and resist the desire to ‘get even’
If the standard of someone else’s driving disappoints you, don’t attempt to educate or rebuke them.
Don’t push into traffic queues
If you wait and clearly signal, you won’t wait long before another drive lets you in. But they don’t like being forced into giving way.
Say thank you, say sorry
Courtesy encourages co-operation on the road. If you make a mistake or perhaps cut things a bit fine, then a gesture of apology avoids confrontation and helps defuse anger.
Move away from trouble
If you feel seriously threatened by another driver, then ensure your car doors locked and drive (at legal speed) to the nearest police station or busy area (petrol station forecourts are ideal).
Use your mobile phone to alert the police. Pressing the horn repeatedly or continuously is likely to deter a potential attacker.
Got any other motoring tips? Is there something we could do to help avoid tense situations on the roads? Let us know below or send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org.