On average, 1,500 people are injured or killed every year due to aggressive driving or road rage incidents in the United States. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2019 data, nearly 80% of all driver expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel in the last 30 days.
Considering these statistics, it’s evident that road rage presents a serious, dangerous and deadly risk to all drivers. Here are six tips to keep you safe on the road.
Practice polite driving
Avoid tailgating, speeding, weaving, erratic breaking and leaving on your high beams, especially in more rural areas or on one-lane roads. When in doubt, behave courteously.
Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt
Most driving mistakes are unintentional. Try not to take them personally, even if it seems that the other driver is distracted or not paying attention. An aggressive response is not worth the risk of injury or death.
Keep your travel expectations reasonable
Don’t set unrealistic goals for how quickly you can get from point A to point B. Be conscious of when there will be traffic or and where you know road construction is happening, and give yourself plenty of time to reduce your chances of using unsafe driving behaviors and getting angry at other drivers because you’re running behind.
Steer clear of aggressive drivers
Put space between yourself and aggressive drivers. Consider slowing down to let aggressive drivers ahead, or changing lanes if possible to create distance.
Don’t make rude gestures
Avoid making eye contact or making hand gestures at aggressive drivers. Use your horn sparingly and only for emergency situations.
If an aggressive driver is targeting you, call 9-1-1 and stay on the phone with the dispatcher. Consider driving to the nearest police station, convenience store, or public location. Do not go home if you’re being followed, especially if you are by yourself.
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