In December, one of our contractors was the victim of road rage. What started as a minor driving mishap ended in the assailants threatening him with a knife and beating him around the head with a crutch. This has reminded us how quickly road rage can develop, how important it is to avoid it, and how to react if you feel road rage is developing either in other drivers, or in yourself. It’s important to us to protect our workers, employees and other contacts so we hope these tips help you in the future.
If someone is angry at you…
1. Taking extra care to observe and concentrate on the roads can avoid minor mistakes that may antagonise other drivers.
2. If you do make a mistake, it’s best to acknowledge this to drivers around you to help calm a situation down before it erupts. A simple hand wave should do the trick.
3. If you are confronted by a driver with road rage, avoid eye contact as this will make the situation worse.
4. Don’t stop, pull over, compete with or confront someone who is experiencing road rage. Keep your mind focused on your own driving with your doors locked and windows closed.
5. Stay calm and think logically. Don't engage in gestures, headlight flashing or sounding the horn with an irate driver as this will exacerbate the situation and distract you from driving responsibly.
6. If you are being tailgated, don’t be intimidated to drive faster. Instead, find a safe opportunity to allow the driver to pass such as circumnavigating a roundabout.
7. If the tailgating does not stop, make your way to a public place such as a busy street or a police station. If necessary, call the police.
8. Do not allow an aggressive driver to follow you home.
On the flip side, here are some ways to avoid getting road rage yourself.....
1. If you are stressed, upset or running late, try not to let your mood influence your driving.
2. If another driver makes a mistake, try not to react angrily. More often than not, people are unaware when they have made a driving error. Instead keep away from them and concentrate on driving well yourself.
3. If your mood is affected by an incident during your journey, find an opportunity to stop and take time out.
4. Try to find time occasionally to reflect on how your mood or stress levels affect your driving.
Resourcing Solutions’ vision of “preventing harm to all” is underpinned by our mantra ‘Think Safe, Act Safe and Be Safe.