Anger management: how to deal with road rage this summer!

Whether you're driving to your in-laws or heading to the airport to escape them, there's one thing that you can guarantee – the roads will be jam-packed. Road rage may not be unique to the holiday period but there's something about the summer break that seems to bring our the very worst drivers. 

So how do you deal with an aggressive driver, or keep yourself from becoming one? One of the most effective things you can do is manage your own behaviour and driving habits.

1. Stay calm and detached

Don't allow yourself to be insulted by aggressive drivers and don't 'get back' at them. That means don't hit the brakes if someone is tailgating you, it will only make things worse. Either pull over when it is safe to let the other vehicle pass or continue to drive safely and ignore the vehicle behind you. 

If you have to vent, remember you can share your story with someone else later!

2. Lower your expectations

Keep in mind that just because you're a considerate driver it doesn't mean everyone else will be too. This will keep you calmer if another driver does something you find aggressive or rude. 

Drive courteously and safely because it's the right thing to do, and don't expect others to always do the same. 

3. Avoid behaviour that can anger other drivers

Drivers tend to respond negatively to certain behaviours. These behaviours could escalate into a bad situation. Things that can irritate drivers the most include:

  • rude hand gestures
  • weaving
  • speeding
  • tailgating or braking suddenly in response to someone tailgating you
  • cutting in line
  • passing someone and then slowing down when you're in front of them just to let the driver know you're upset
  • turning without using indicators
  • using your mobile phone while driving; and
  • honking excessively. 

Try to avoid a road rage incident by driving safely and being aware of other drivers. If you get into a situation with an aggressive driver, drive to a well-populated and safe location such as a police or fire station. If you feel threatened and don't know where a safe place is, pull over and call the police. 

Before you take to the road be prepared for an accident by making sure that your car insurance is up to date and that people that might be driving your care are also named under your policy. 

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