Cat Hiles

How to Deal with People Who Drive Like B-Bags

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On my way to work this morning, I was faced with not one, but two idiots who decided that my 75 mph in the fast lane while passing slower vehicles was not good enough. After sitting on my rear for a few minutes, each driver got annoyed and started swerving between lanes in order to get in front of me. My first instinct was to yell obscenities at them and flip them the bird, but then I remembered I live in America and people have guns here.

My initial reaction isn’t uncommon. Every day, we’re faced with turds who think that it’s a good idea to drive too fast, cut people off, and generally be idiots. It’s no wonder we flip people off and call them NSFW names when they think that they own the road. But, while this might seem like the best reaction at the time, reacting this way can make the problem worse and cause the aggressive driver to act even worse. Instead, try the following tips…

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Stay Calm

The first piece of advice can also be the hardest to conquer. But it’s important that you stay calm when confronted with an aggressive driver. Do whatever it takes to stay calm on the road, like listening to soothing music and practicing steady breathing. If an aggressive driver just won’t leave you alone, pull over and let him by before setting back out on the road.


angry clarkson

Avoid Eye Contact

Often, drivers showing signs of road rage can become angrier and more aggressive if you make eye contact—especially if it’s accompanied by eye rolling. Just keep looking forward and driving normally, and wait for the aggressor to move on.


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Don’t Take it Personally

We all have bad days. It’s possible that the guy tailing you is driving home after being fired, or has just gotten into an argument with a loved one. Maybe he’s just a jerk. While this is no excuse for dangerous driving behavior, remember that the guy behind the wheel isn’t acting that way just to annoy you. No matter the cause, there’s nothing you can do, and taking it personally will only make matters worse.


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Report Dangerous Driving

If you’re faced with an aggressive driver who won’t leave you alone, or who is putting others’ lives at risk with her behavior, call 911. If the driver is targeting you specifically, recommends driving to a busy public place, such as a hospital, so that you have witnesses. Use your horn to get the attention of passersby if needed. And if it’s safe to do so, make a note of the driver’s license plate so you can report it to police.


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Protect Yourself

The most important thing to do when faced with road rage is to protect yourself. This might mean locking your doors, taking a diversion home, changing lanes and slowing down, or just pulling over and stopping. Always be aware of your surroundings, and never stop in an isolated area if you suspect the aggressor might follow you.


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  • Cat HilesManaging Editor

    Catherine Hiles is a native Brit currently based in Dayton, Ohio. Don't ask how that happened. Cat has written about a variety of subjects, from dog training to fashion, and counts running and cooking among her hobbies. Cat lives with her husband, Ben; their daughter, Rose; and their collection of animals, including an energetic mutt, an elderly basset hound, and a jerk cat. See more articles by Cat.

  • Cat Hiles

    Hi, Pamela. I’m happy to elaborate on my article’s introduction to put your mind at ease. I was, in fact, in the left lane going 75mph while passing people in the right and middle lanes, when two drivers came up behind me dangerously fast. I live in Ohio, where the speed limit is 65, so I was already going faster than I should have been. When the drivers came up behind me I looked for a gap between cars in the middle lane to see if I could safely pull by to let them pass, but there was a lot of traffic that morning, so I had to hang out until I could safely get over.

    Perhaps you would have preferred that I perform a dangerous maneuver to cater to these two jerks who were driving extremely dangerously, but I did what I should have done and they were the ones who were not acting courteously.

    I hope that has put your mind at rest and that you can get through the remainder of the day in peace.

    • Pamela

      Cat, It’s the pedal on the right! USE IT! That’s all you had to do… LOL J/K!

      I learned to drive in Detroit and there are two simple rules to the road there. Drive really fast or get the ____ out of the way. FYI 75 is more like a minimum in Detroit. It doesn’t matter if the sign says 55. I once was driving 75 and was passed by a cop in a 55 zone in Detroit. The cop wasn’t after anyone. He was just driving with the flow of traffic. You probably wouldn’t enjoy driving there and you’d probably be risking your life if you entered the left lane going as slow as 75. I also now live in Ohio. When I moved here my two pet peeves with Ohio drivers are that many do not understand that the left lane is for passing (yes it’s actually the law. ORC 4511). The other is that many Ohio drivers have not discovered that there are blinking lights on the corners of their vehicles and these blinking lights are to be used to give other drivers notice that they intend to turn or change lanes. It took me a while (and several encounters with officer friendly) to slow down to Ohio speeds.

      It has made my day to find out that your driving experience did not qualify as one of my pet peeves 🙂

      I’ll offer my thoughts on dealing with idiot drivers (Note; I use “idiot” for simplicity. “D-bag” and “A-hole” are interchangeable with “idiot” here.):

      – I wouldn’t worry about yelling obscenities or flipping someone off because they might have a gun. The odds of another driver being able to shoot you while chasing you in a car are pretty slim to none. I’ve developed a pretty thick skin and it would take someone real special to get me to that point of yelling and telling them they are number 1. If you let every idiot piss you off you will just end up being a rage monster. There are simply too many idiots.

      – If indeed you screwed up and someone is rightfully raging at you, sometimes giving them a peace sign can diffuse the situation. You’re basically tell them sorry I didn’t do that intentionally. If they don’t understand the momentary confusion of the trying to figure out why you are showing them the peace sign might disrupt their rage and calm them down.

      – If some raging idiot wants to argue with you, DON’T! they will drag you down the their level and beat them with experience. Just go on about your way and ignore them. Besides there’s no point trying to explain to an idiot why they are wrong. They simply wouldn’t understand.

      – Probably not a good idea but I enjoy this one. When some idiot is raging swearing like a sailor and flipping you off. Smile and wave back at them.

      – Of course if you fear for your safety always call the cops. For a less threatening situation and when the idiot is following you, drive to the nearest police station and if possible call them ahead of time to let them know you’re coming. Never go to your house or someplace you park regularly. If you do you may be inviting a confrontation or if the idiot is really vindictive, they may come back later and vandalize your car.

      – Dash cams are always a good idea to have.

      – Cat this applies to your situation, I’m not saying this is what you should do, it’s just what I would. If the idiot is behind you, ignore them. If they are dumb enough to hit you the law will make them pay for their stupidity. I’m not to worried because I doubt anybody would be this stupid but then again I always over estimate people’s intelligence. As a side note, I’ve always wanted to get a scrolling LED sign and a rearward facing dash cam to have some fun with the idiots riding my bumper.

      • Cat Hiles

        I’ve definitely done the smiling and waving at drivers acting like a-holes. There’s a great satisfaction in it! I typically try to ignore drivers like that and just accept that they are idiots, but some days it seems like the road is filled with more idiots than not, right?

        Thanks for your comment. Hope you have a great day!