Tips On Dealing With Road Rage

This is one of a series of articles provided by the MOT Chelmsford blog.
The majority of drivers want to get to their destination as safely as possible, without unnecessary delays. Obviously, achieving this is down in a large part as to how we drive and behave on the roads. On the whole, most drivers are civil and take care to make sure that they and their fellow road users have a safe journey. Unfortunately, most people these days will have heard of road rage and the sometimes tragic results it can have.
In a society where many people are in a hurry, the road can become a place that is fraught with problems. Aggressive driving, tailgating, speeding and dangerous overtaking can become par for the course. If you find yourself in a situation where someone close by is driving dangerously, has taken exception to the way you are driving, or is behaving in an aggressive manner towards you, it may well come down to how you respond and the actions you take that make all the difference between a pleasant or unpleasant outcome.
If you are driving and you notice that someone near you is driving irrationally or in an aggressive manner, you should try and stay away from the situation. If the person is behind you, slow down to allow them to overtake. If need be, pull over to let this happen. By simply avoiding a potential situation, you significantly reduce the risk of conflict.
If you find that someone's driving is impeding yours, try not to use your horn unless absolutely necessary as this can be seen as antagonistic.
Try not to create a situation yourself. Always try and give other drivers plenty of space – don't drive too closely to people or make sudden manoeuvres as this can lead to accidents or near-accidents that may provoke another driver. If you do make an error, immediately raise your hand and acknowledge to the other driver that it was your fault – this will hopefully pacify them and can help avoid a problem.
If you do find yourself involved in an incident and another driver is being deliberately aggressive toward you, try to avoid eye contact as this may encourage/enrage them – and don't make obscene gestures, even if you are tempted to do so. If you believe that they are pursuing you or are endangering you, make your way to a police station – if they realise that you are doing this, they will most likely drive away. Never drive home if you think you are being followed or are in danger as it will show the person where you live.
If you find yourself in a situation where a driver has got out of his or her car and is approaching you, remain in your car and make sure your windows are up and your doors are locked. If possible, you should try to drive yourself safely from the situation – perhaps to a police station as indicated above or at least to a crowded area.
However, if this is not possible and you find yourself face to face with the other driver, always try and be polite and courteous – even if the other driver isn't. Do not respond to abuse or threats. If you feel that you are physically in danger then call the police immediately.
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