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Behind the Wheel: Road rage safety tips

As more drivers, and potentially more young drivers, head out onto area roads this summer, it’s important to know how to prevent and diffuse dangerous road rage situations.

Krav Maga Worldwide suggests the following tips for dealing with and preventing aggressive behavior: 

Be the bigger person. If a driver seems to be getting aggressive, do what you can to defuse the situation. For example, if someone is tailgating you, move over to the next lane. If someone begins to yell at you from a vehicle, don’t acknowledge the behavior; keep your distance. Avoid adding fuel to the fire by yelling back or staring at the abusive driver.

Admit your mistake. If you commit a driving error, acknowledge your mistake and apologize whenever possible.

Don’t be a tough guy. If a road rage incident takes place and an angry driver exits their vehicle looking for a fight, immediately lock your doors and call 911. You also can call 911 to report dangerous and aggressive drivers. Make sure to note the vehicle’s license plate number and in which direction they are heading. 

Learn basic protection skills. Sometimes doing your part and attempting to defuse an aggressive driver doesn’t work. It’s important for your safety that you equip yourself with basic self-defense skills as well as verbal and body language skills that can be helpful in deterring assailants in road rage situations.

Give yourself time. The most common reason people get road rage is stress – and rushing to get to a destination on time is a key stressor. Give yourself an extra 5 to 10 minutes every trip to ensure you arrive safe and sound. 

Breathe. Driving can be a stressful situation and cause even the calmest person to tense up at times. Remember to breathe. You can’t control traffic or other drivers, but you can do your part in keeping the road safe and your anger in check. When frustration threatens, take 10 deep breaths and drive on safely.

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