The term 'road rage' originated in the United States back in the 1980s following a number of shootings on a freeway in Los Angeles. Since then the term has often been used in the UK when relating to aggressive or violent incidents on our roads. Fortunately it is extremely unlikely that incidents in the UK would ever involve firearms thankfully.
What causes Road Rage
Why do people behave this way? It could be because they are having a bad day, are over tired, they think they are a better driver than you ... who knows. Every driver makes their own choices and there could be a multitude of reasons why they decide to drive the way they do.
What to do if you are being intimidated
Some people have an aggressive nature both in and out of the driving seat, others seem to develop some kind of personality change the minute they get behind the wheel! Whatever the reason, the best way to cope with someone like this is to not get involved, otherwise it could just make things worse. Here are a few tips to avoid problems with aggressive drivers.
If someone makes any aggressive gestures at you, do not be intimidated. Do not be tempted to make gestures yourself as this may just antagonise and encourage them. Do nothing and ignore them - hopefully sooner or later they will leave you alone
Avoid eye contact with the other driver. If they sense that their actions are affecting you, they are more likely to continue
If you are on a dual carriageway or motorway and someone flashes their lights at you because they want to get passed - let them, but only if it is safe for you to do so
Always drive carefully and safely, and never let an aggressive driver distract or intimidate you into making risky manoeuvres
How not to become an aggressive driver yourself
It's true we can all get a little irate sometimes if someone makes a poor judgment on the road. What you have to remember is, we all make mistakes and it's really not worth getting annoyed about it. Losing your temper whilst controlling a moving vehicle is both pointless and potentially dangerous. To avoid becoming aggressive to others on the road, consider the following:-
If you are angry or are gesturing at another driver, you are not in full control of your vehicle. Stay in control of yourself and your vehicle
Get plenty of sleep before any long journeys. Lack of sleep makes most people irritable - so try to avoid it
Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. They may be a new inexperienced driver or perhaps an older driver who likes to drive cautiously
Try to allow more than enough time for your journey. Check news reports for any road works or poor weather conditions
Being in a hurry to pass a slow driver will probably only save you a couple of minutes, so try not to let it bother you,
Remember that it's better to be arrive slightly late safely, than to not arrive at all because you have had an accident
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