There is a wise saying that “conflict can only exist if there is participation.” We unfortunately struggle not to participate and are so aggressively protecting our own rights and reputation that we sometimes cross the boundaries of acceptable and safe behaviour.
The photo attached to this Blog made me think of the topic of road rage. Road rage is often demonstrated by drivers who take their anger, resentment and frustration with them behind the wheel. Instances of aggressive driving include drivers who cut you off, make unsafe lane changes, speed, follow too closely, run red lights, and disobey traffic signs and signals. Road rage is not limited to the blaring of a horn, angry voices shouting and rude hand gestures, but can lead to crashes and nasty confrontations.
We have found a few important suggestions on the Arrive Alive website on how to avoid aggressive driving:
- When you find yourself in a stressful driving environment or when your mood makes you irritable and impatient, calm down, take a deep breath and relax. An aggressive state of mind will come through in your driving behaviour and affects your safety and the safety of others.
- Be courteous, content and considerate. Accept the fact that you’re bound to meet all sorts of different drivers on the road. Don’t take things personally.
A few simple and courteous driving practices might protect you and your vehicle from harm:
- When you merge, make sure you have plenty of room. Always use your turn signal to show your intentions before making a move. If someone cuts you off, slow down and give them room to merge into your lane.
- If you are in the right lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by. You may be “in the left” because you are traveling at the speed limit – but you may also be putting yourself in danger by making drivers behind you angry.
- Allow at least a two-second space between your car and the car ahead. Drivers may get angry when they are followed too closely. If you feel you are being followed too closely, signal and pull over when safe to do so, allowing the other driver to pass.
- Use your horn rarely, if ever.
- Keep your hands on the wheel and avoid making any gestures that might anger another driver. That includes “harmless” expressions of irritation like shaking your head.
- If another driver is acting angry, don’t make eye contact.
- Give angry drivers lots of room. If another driver tries to pick a fight, put as much distance between you as possible.
Always remember “it takes two to tango”. One angry driver can’t start a fight unless another driver is willing to join in – try to think of how important this incident would be five years from now…
Rather avoid participation in aggressive driving!