In recent years, aggressive driving has become increasingly commonplace, this usually results from a combination of factors, from increased traffic congestion to higher levels of anxiety and stress, especially during the pandemic. Reduce your chances of getting into a vehicular accident by following these tops to avoid aggressive driving behavior.
How You Can Avoid Aggressive Driving Behavior
Controlling your emotions, and the temptation to respond to an aggressive driver is essential. Allowing another driver’s aggressive behavior to affect you, and reacting their actions by being equally, if not more, aggressive will likely intensify and worsen the situation. Where possible, stay clear of them, slow down your vehicle if necessary, and give them the opportunity to pass you.
It’s important not to make eye contact. Doing so and avoiding the use of hand gestures will signify the lack of engagement, most likely prompting the other driver to move on. Remember, your goal should always be to deescalate the situation.
Document a Description of the Other Driver
As a driver, you want to feel like you’re in control, this feeling is more intense for those that have Type A personalities. One way to channel your frustration is to document a description of the other driver. In the event their driving becomes potentially life threatening to you or other drivers, you may decide to report them to the authorities, who will require as much information as possible. Things that you’ll want to make a note of include the color, make and model of the car, and its license plate number.
Do Not Speed or Tailgate
There are times when your actions might inadvertently irritate other drivers, leading to a potentially hazardous situation. Examples of such inadvertent actions are speeding and tailgating. Those that drive too fast run the risk of getting into accidents, while tailgating is considered by many to be a form of aggression, which some drivers utilize to coerce the vehicle in front to move out of the way or speed up. Your fellow road users may react aggressively too, increasing the chances of an accident.
Avoid Erratic Passing or Lane Changes and Acknowledge all Road Signs
Passing another driver erratically or making aggressive lane changes is extremely dangerous and is one of the fastest ways to anger other drivers. Ignoring road signs, especially speed limits, greatly increases the chances of accidents and the resultant injuries.
Do Not Confront the Other Driver
Not all of drivers are even tempered, some might become so agitated with another driver that they decide to stop the car and confront them directly. Do not do that. If they do the same, the situation could escalate into a full-blown altercation. The situation could become fatal if the other driver has a weapon and decides to use it. Even if you manage to win the fight, you may face a potential lawsuit, be it criminal or civil.
When Should Aggressive Driving be Reported?
Aggressive driving should be reported in any scenario where you felt as if your life was in danger. However, wait until you’ve had time to calm down from the incident, and you’re in a safe and public area. If you notice that the driver is following you, do not return home. Instead, drive to the nearest police station, at which point the other party will most likely ignore you and drive off. The potential for legal issues is a major deterrent to aggressive driving behavior.