Road rage is a common phrase many apply to other drivers, but what about their own driving ability? Even though 80 percent of drivers think that they’re above-average drivers, a fair amount within that statistic must have road rage.
As humans, we tend to think highly of ourselves. Unfortunately, only 50 percent of drivers are considered above-average. Most of us are right in the middle when it comes to driving ability and we make many mistakes. When making those mistakes, we consider ourselves most often in the right, but when other people make mistakes behind the wheel, we get angry.
Dangers Of Road Rage
Almost 56 percent of all crashes in the United States are caused by aggressive behavior behind the wheel, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. It’s not just criminal, but aggressive behavior can also be dangerous. Aggressive drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicles or drive at unsafe speeds. When crashes do occur, they’re usually worse.
Five Tips To Avoid Road Rage
Everyone gets angry from time to time, but when you get angry behind the wheel, consequences can be dire. To keep from getting angry behind the wheel and letting it affect your driving, keep these tips in mind.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Being in a hurry isn’t always avoidable, but leaving a few extra minutes early will make you less stressed.
- Most road rage incidents happen to already emotional people – keep your stress down the best you can.
- Remember that in the vast majority of cases, other drivers aren’t trying to make you angry. In most cases, whatever they did that riled you up was unintentional.
- Keep in mind that that you’ve made poor driving mistakes yourself before.
- Don’t escalate the situation through actions like aggressive hand gestures or tailgating the person who cut you off – you can only make things worse.
What To Do As The Victim Of Road Rage
Remember that when another driver starts to act aggressively toward you, do not escalate the situation. Instead, do your best to ignore and avoid them. Slow down, change lanes, or even exit the highway for a few minutes to separate yourself from an aggressive driver. If you can’t get away from the driver, every state has a hotline you can call to report aggressive driving.
Remember not to stop if at all possible. If you do have to stop, pull into a crowded area like a department store or grocery store and stay in your car until the other person leaves. Don’t be afraid to call the police if you feel physically threatened.
Avoiding the dangerous consequences of road rage is a two-way street — reacting calmly to other drivers and staying calm yourself. Keep in mind that no perceived slight is worth endangering yourself or others on the road and you’ll be able to keep driving, crash-free.
Learn more on additional strategies in controlling your driver risk management profile while creating a safety culture by downloading our white paper.