Avoid road wars: how to protect yourself against aggressive drivers

Many of us have fallen prey to an aggressive driver at one point or another.

It’s the guy tailgating us on the highway, shouting at us because he’s seemingly in a hurry and wants to get past us.

It’s the woman angrily beeping her horn when we mistakenly pull out of a junction early.

It’s the person who, for no apparent reason, drives dangerously close to us, with no regard for their or anybody else’s safety.

Why do they do it?

Perhaps they’re having a bad day, or maybe they’re just bad and careless drivers. Whatever the reason, it’s important to protect ourselves, because any aggressive driving can result in road rage should the situation get out of control. And when we say road rage, we are talking about the rage coming from ourselves when our patience is pushed to its limits, and from the other driver, who might retaliate further if we challenge them on their reckless behavior.

So, how do we protect ourselves?

DRIVE SAFELY

In a scenario reminiscent of a scene from a Mad Max movie, we could retaliate. We could increase our speed to catch up with the driver who has sworn at us, or we could drive dangerously close to them in an effort to let them know that we aren’t to be messed with. We could swear at them, raise our fists, and slam down on the horn to alert them to the anger they have caused in us.

We could do any of these things, but as we suggested, this could inflame the situation further and might even cause an accident. Therefore, do as you always do, and focus on  road safety. Keep going at your usual speed, move into a lane where you can keep a distance between you and the other driver, and keep your eyes on the road. Hopefully, the idiot…sorry… the aggressive driver will keep on going, leaving you to get on with your journey peacefully and safely.

AVOID EYE CONTACT

Don’t be tempted to glance in their direction. Sure, you might be mightily annoyed at them, or you might just be curious as to who is causing you a problem (or who has a problem with you), but that piece of eye contact could be all it takes to makes the situation worse. You might see them make a gesture or hear them swear at you, and that could cause anger in yourself. Or they might see your glare as a threat, and that could cause them to react against you. Therefore, ignore them. Keep your eyes on the road, so you don’t cause an accident and stay focused on your journey.

PULL OVER IF IT’S SAFE TO DO SO

If the other drive is behaving erratically, or if you feel anger boiling up inside you because of their stupid behaviour, do the sensible thing and pull over when possible. This will give you the opportunity to calm down and gather your nerves, and it will take you away from any dangerous situation. Of course, if you suspect the other driver might pull over with you, perhaps to threaten you further while offroad, be mindful of this option.

It could be worth taking a detour to avoid the other driver instead, or you might want to call the police if you have a hands-free system in your car. However, if you do pull over and the other driver does stop with you, be sure to lock your car. If you feel threatened, call the police, and draw attention to yourself with your horn and headlights, to let passersby know that you are in trouble and might need help. The other driver might back off as a consequence.

FIT A DASH CAM TO YOUR CAR

A dash cam is useful for several reasons. For one, the aggressive driver might curb their dangerous behaviour if they realize they are being filmed. Not many people want to be publicly shamed, as they will be when their bad behavior is posted on YouTube, so they might just think twice in fear of shaming and potential legal fines. Secondly, if you have recorded footage of the driver, you can share that with the police, as any action taken might then deter the driver from behaving aggressively again in the future.

This might not protect you in the short-term, but it will protect other drivers on the road down the line. But if the unthinkable happens, and you are caught in an accident because of the other driver, your dash cam will protect you from the ensuing costs. You can use it for insurance purposes to prove you weren’t at fault, and if you’re injured as a result of the other driver, your dash cam will help you in a legal situation. This firm offers high-quality legal representation, and the footage you have recorded will help you win your case and claim any compensation open to you.

FINALLY

Many of us enjoy driving, but with the many aggressive drivers on today’s roads, our pleasure is often curbed by their behavior. We can’t always control their behavior, but we can control ours, so practice safe driving, and follow each of our suggestions to protect yourself from harm. Let us know too if you have any further suggestions.


Photo Credit: Jon Collier

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