No matter the time of day, road rage is something that can strike at any minute! Whether it’s rush hour or it’s past midnight, truck drivers must always consider how they respond to enraged passenger vehicles and even other freighters. It’s proven that 94 percent of traffic accidents caused by driver error. However, an alarming 33 percent of these accidents have been linked to road rage. For drivers young and old, dealing with road rage is a vital skill. Being able to manage your road rage keeps you, as well as other drivers, safe. So, here are 5 ways to avoid road rage!
5 Ways to Avoid Road Rage
1. Let them Pass
Although you may feel like running an aggressor off the road, it’s never the right move to make. When someone is tailgating your 80,000-pound rig, the best you can do is maneuver safely to the side and let them pass. Even if they are swerving to throw off your path, slowing down to avoid engaging in their dangerous activity is key. Showing any aggression toward another driver only escalates a situation. Whenever possible, allow the driver to distance themselves from your rig. All things must pass, and that’s true for aggressive drivers too!
2. Keep Your Calm
Yes, random acts of rage and aggression can boil your blood. But, sometimes all you can really do is try to keep your cool. Think about it this way. If you get angry, you’re just giving into what your aggressor wants. Remaining calm is one of the most important ways to avoid road rage. Though its sometimes easier said than done, this tactic should not be overlooked. It ensures that you don’t put yourself in danger while protecting other drivers on the road, too. I like to think of anger like a hot coal. You could hold onto it and continue burning yourself, or drop it to the floor to cool. Recognize that this choice is yours!
3. Don’t Take it Personally
In many cases, road rage and full-blown aggression are misdirected outbursts. When other drivers get enraged, there may be many reasons for their anger. If it’s a random person who’s the aggressor, it’s not likely that they are targeting you specifically. More likely than not, you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don’t take road rage personally, even if you were a victim in the situation. Letting negative experiences affect your driving won’t help. If anything, try to learn from the situation so you can better prepare for future cases of road rage.
4. Warn Other Drivers
If someone is driving aggressively, try to warn other drivers. Turning on your hazard signals and or flashing your lights when necessary alerts other drivers of potential danger. You can also make use of your CB radio so that other truckers in the area are aware of this behavior.
It’s worth mentioning that drunk driving can often be confused with aggressive driving. If someone is swerving near your vehicle or changing speeds at a dangerous pace, it’s best to distance yourself from the driver and call the police. This could help to save lives. So, if you have a hunch that you’re sharing the road with a drunk driver, be sure to report it immediately!
5. Consider Your Own Driving
Although we like to think of our own driving skills as impeccable, one of the ways to avoid road rage is keeping yourself in check. If you are prone to tailgating, forgetting to signal, or speeding, it’s possible that you are creating road rage around you. Acknowledging the ways that your behaviors could frustrate other drivers is another aspect of preventing danger. Not only that, but your employer will appreciate your commitment to staying safe on the road from one haul to the next!
Looking for more relatable information about trucking? We’ve got you covered. Be sure to check out the video below and our BigRigBanter podcast covering road rage!
What are some ways to avoid road rage that you’ve made use of? Let us know in the comments below and stay safe out there!