Dealing with Agressive Driving

16 January 2015 - By Eugene Herbert - The RAC Group

Hi Folks…


Welcome back – may this be a road safe year.


We seem to have “escaped” the festive season with a reduced number of fatalities (it seems though that DOT may not be comparing apples with apples) but, that notwithstanding there still seemed to be a lot of ‘agro’ manifest by some drivers. While we can’t change some of the physical aspects associated with driving (potholes etc.) we can change our attitudes.


It seems appropriate that we start 2015 with this article and trust that it will set the tone for the rest of the year.


We all deal with stress. Unfortunately, some people vent their anger and frustration by driving aggressively. Sometimes drivers don’t even realize it when they start to drive that way because they’re letting their emotions get the best of them.


Common symptoms associated with this, more commonly referred to as road rage are:


* Mentally condemning other drivers or contemplating violence against them


* Not obeying traffic safety rules because you don't agree with them


* Engaging in  risky driving such as:-


-  following too close, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, braking to get others to back off your bumper, or passing another driver and then slowing to teach him or her a lesson.


Here are some safety tips to help prevent aggressive driving or to diffuse potential road-rage incidents:


§  Allow plenty of time for the trip, listen to soothing music, improve the comfort in your vehicle, and understand that you cannot control the traffic – only your reaction to it. In the end, personal frustration, anger and impatience may be the most dangerous "drugs" on the highway.


§  Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver is not.


§  Avoid all conflict if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and move out of the way. Never underestimate the other driver's capacity for negative response.


§  When entering traffic or changing lanes, make sure that you have enough room in which to negotiate any hazards.


§  Make sure you have established (and maintain) a safe following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.


§  Don't make aggressive hand gestures (you know which ones) to other drivers when they offend you with their driving.


§  Signal when turning or changing lanes.


§  Control your anger. 


§  Avoid prolonged eye contact with the bad or angry driver.


§  Get help if you’re threatened. Call police on your cell phone or go to a public place. Don't pull to the side of the road.


Forget about winning. No one wins in a crash or road rage incident.


Put yourself in the other driver's shoes. You never know; he or she may be driving that way because of an actual emergency.


You may want to pass these tips along to other drivers as a friendly reminder.


Click here to take Progressive Insurance’s road rage quiz.


Till next time - Drive Safe and remember - DRIVE NICE, IT’S CONTAGIOUS


Eugene Herbert


Group Managing Director


The RAC Group




http://advanceddriving.co.za

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