Driving around crowded streets or through traffic can be annoying, but encountering a slow or aggressive driver makes it worse. Getting back at another driver for cutting you off or not knowing where they are going can be tempting. However, letting your emotions get the best of you on the road is extremely dangerous.
Dangers of road rage
When you get angry at another driver, you may exhibit aggressive driving behavior, such as speeding, unnecessarily hitting the brakes and bumping the other vehicle. Because road rage diverts your attention from driving safely and makes you disregard the safety of others on the road, you risk getting into an accident. Data shows that road rage contributes to fatal crashes.
Unfortunately, many motorists will react to road rage with even more road rage. By trying to get even with another driver, you could unintentionally make things worse by offending another motorist.
Manage your rage and drive safely
Controlling your emotions in a heated situation is easier said than done, but it is important. Realizing when you are starting to get angry and keeping in mind that it is better to arrive safely at home than sorry can be helpful.
If you come across an aggressive driver, the best thing you can do is avoid getting even. Take a deep breath, calm yourself and keep your attention on the road. Another option is to reframe your thinking and consider the reasons an aggressive driver may behave that way. Maybe they have poor time management or are very late to a life-changing appointment.
No one should risk a car accident just to flip someone off or to prove they are the better driver. Planning your route ahead of time may help you avoid stressful driving situations like rush hour traffic jams. Plus, when you are relaxed, it becomes much easier to keep your emotions in check.