Road Rage Problem: How to Respond to an Angry Driver

Almost every driver has experienced road rage. It is a fairly common occurrence for people to react aggressively because of various driving-related reasons, such as driving slowly, changing to another lane without signaling, swerving, and other behaviors. Most of the time, while the driver is angry, it does not end up in violence. However, incidents of assaults and threats of violence resulting from road rage have increasingly appeared on the news.

An Epidemic

There are many factors that affect a person’s response to driving-related events. A heavy traffic jam, for example, can make people hot-tempered and more likely to be involved in road rage. If another driver’s safety has been put in peril, it could also lead to road rage.

It is a serious and prevalent problem. One survey found that more than 75 percent of drivers in the United States have engaged in aggressive driving, which is road rage in a less severe form. An analysis of more than 10,000 incidents of road rage across a seven-year period revealed that aggressive behavior led to at least 12,610 injuries and 218 murders.

Truck drivers who travel across the country have witnessed an increase in road rage. Some of them were victims of it, whereas some are perpetrators.

Because of the time they spend on the road, truckers should know how to respond to an angry driver properly and, if possible, quell the situation.

What to Do If You Are a Victim of Road Rage

It is important that everyone involved is as calm as possible. Even when you are getting yelled at, do not respond in the same manner. Doing so will only further raise the tension. Apologize if you are wrong or drive away when it is not your fault.

So, instead of feeling angry, breathe. Learn how to do breathing exercises to release tension. Repress negative thoughts that will make you angry. If possible, you can practice progressive muscle relaxation and deep muscle relaxation to relieve your body of the tension you are carrying.

In some cases, a driver of a larger vehicle could try to force you off the road and ram your car in a fit of rage. Hence, it is important to seek the services of a lawyer specializing in accidents involving semi-trucks, buses, and other large vehicles. This legal expert can help you file a case against the perpetrator if necessary. You also have to collect as much evidence against them, including photographs of the damages, videos of the encounter, police records, and others.

man guiding student driver

Distance Yourself from the Raging Driver

Remove yourself from the situation as much as you can. Take a detour if you have to. Continuing in the same path will only further provoke the other driver and make them more likely to escalate the situation.

There is no shame in bowing out, especially if the situation is heated and can endanger your life. It is best to avoid any confrontation with the other driver.

Be Empathetic

The person who became frustrated and angry at a simple mistake while driving might be going through a tough time in their life. The reaction, no matter how negative, may not necessarily be indicative of their character. Underneath the rage, there could be grief or worry.

Choosing to be kind is always the right decision. If you can see their face, mouth the word “sorry” to let them know that it was not your intention to harm them. It is not personal. You are all just trying to reach your respective destinations safely.

If They Get Out of Their Vehicle

If you cannot avoid a confrontation, stop somewhere safe. Go to a police station or a gasoline station where someone can intervene in case the situation goes out of hand. Keep your dash cam on, too, so you have evidence if the other driver becomes violent or threatens you.

Moreover, make sure you have the plate number. You will need it if you want to press charges for the incident eventually.

If They Follow You Around

There may be times when the other driver will follow you to intimidate you or make you feel afraid. If you notice that, after several turns, the vehicle is still behind you, drive to the nearest police station. Do not get out of the vehicle to confront them. Your life might be in danger.

Lock all your doors and windows. Do not open them unless a police officer is present to make sure that no one will get hurt.

Road rage is a huge problem that can sometimes lead to injuries and even death. People can prevent it by being calm when on the road and by following the tips above to defuse the situation.


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