How to Deal with People Who Drive Like B-Bags
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…
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.
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.
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.
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, AAA.com 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.
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.
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.