Drivers Fact Sheets

Aggressive Driving And Road Rage

Occasionally, motorists have found themselves in unpleasant situations involving abusive gestures or language from another driver who takes issue with how they drive. Anxiety and frustration can quickly spark an aggressive or careless driver who tailgates, speeds, fails to yield the right of way etc.

Aggressive driving behaviour may lead to incidents of road rage where motorists have been threatened and/or subjected to retaliatory actions by angry motorists.

If people drive responsibly they will reduce the chances of conflict on the road and help make our roads safer.

Experts recommend the following tips to help avoid road conflicts:

  1. Plan your route in advance. Some of the most erratic and inconsiderate driving occurs when motorists are lost
  2. Make a conscious decision not to take your problems with you when driving;
  3. Combat the warning signs of stress by getting fresh air and breathing deeply and slowly. Listen to relaxing music
  4. Avoid long drives if you can. If you take a long trip, stop every few hours for a rest. Before and during a long drive, avoid heavy meals which tend to make a person lethargic
  5. Drive in a courteous and considerate manner. Give way at busy intersections and where traffic lanes merge
  6. Lead by example. Drive the way you want other people to drive. This may mean having to swallow your pride and back away from aggression
  7. Visualize what your behaviour would look like in public — if you were not in your car
  8. Don’t make inappropriate hand or facial gestures.
  9. Don’t return aggression. Don’t compete or retaliate. Avoid eye contact and do not gesture back. Keep away from erratic drivers. If someone’s driving annoys you, don’t try to “educate them”. Leave traffic enforcement to the police
  10. Don’t take other driver’s mistakes personally. All drivers make mistakes, nevertheless, resist the urge to teach them a lesson. They’ll learn it eventually without your help
  11. Don’t tailgate, drivers get angry when they are followed too closely. Allow at least a two-second space between your car and the car ahead. (When you see the car pass a fixed point, you should be able to count at least “one-thousand, two-thousand” before you pass that point.) If you think another car is driving too slowly and you are unable to pass, pull back and allow more space, not less. That way if the car does something unexpected you will have time to get out of the way
  12. If you are in the middle lane or outside lane on a motorway with the inside lane empty of traffic and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by. You may think you are “in the right” because you are travelling at the speed limit — but you may also be putting yourself in danger by making drivers behind you angry. It’s simple courtesy to move over and let other drivers by.
  13. Avoid sounding your horn unless absolutely necessary and, if you must, tap on it lightly If you make a mistake while driving, indicate that you are sorry. An apology can reduce the risk of conflict
  14. If you and another driver see a parking space at the same time, let that person have the space, it isn’t worth an argument
  15. Don’t carry a defensive weapon, it might provoke a potential assailant

What To Do If You’re The Target Of An Aggressive Driver

  1. Get out of the way
  2. Don’t make matters worse by triggering a confrontation. Avoid eye contact and steer clear, giving angry drivers plenty of room
  3. Take an unintended turn or motorway exit to get away from someone who may be targeting you
  4. Try giving an “I’m sorry” wave of your hand
  5. Report their number plate, their vehicle make, and the details of your interaction to the authorities immediately
  6. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own
  7. If a driver continues to hassle you or you think you are being followed, drive on to the nearest police station or busy place to get help
  8. If you are being physically threatened, stay in your car and lock the doors. If you have a mobile phone, call the police. Use your horn and lights to attract attention
  9. If you think you are being followed, do not drive home. Go to a police station or a busy public place

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I confirm I have read the fact sheet  ‘Aggressive Driving and Road Rage’

Signed …………………………………………………………Date……………………………

Name of Driver ………………………………………………… Vehicle Reg ……………………