You Can Prevent Road Rage Incidents
You're driving down the freeway when a car zips by and cuts in front of you. You can speed up next to the driver and begin honking your horn or you can make a better choice – continue driving at a safe speed, not allowing the incident to bother you. Reacting with anger when other drivers are being reckless can potentially lead to a dangerous situation. A growing number of road rage incidents have led to serious injuries and even deaths, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles wants to advise motorists on how to avoid aggressive drivers and potential road rage incidents.
Being courteous to other drivers and using sound judgment is extremely important when driving on a congested road. The following are driving habits that you should avoid in order to relieve congestion and possibly prevent other drivers from becoming hostile:
- Rubbernecking: Don't slow down to look at collisions or anything else out of the ordinary.
- Tailgating: Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you at all times.
- Unnecessary Lane Changes: Avoid weaving in and out of lanes.
- Inattention: Ignore distractions such as eating, grooming, talking on your cell phone, text messaging, reading the newspaper, etc.
- Inadequately Servicing Your Vehicle: Maintain proper upkeep of your vehicle to avoid engine or equipment malfunction or running out of fuel.
Aggressive driving and road rage happen when drivers become frustrated with crowded roads because they're in a rush or simply impatient. It's all too easy to react to a situation where you become the aggressive driver and initiate a potentially violent situation. To ensure that anger doesn't get the best of you, follow these tips when hitting the road:
- Plan Ahead: Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Look Before You Change Lanes: Check your mirrors and your blinds spots. Do not cut off other drivers.
- Watch Your Speed: Don't drive too fast and don't drive too slowly in the left (passing) lane.
- Don't Tailgate: Pay attention to the distance between you and the car ahead of you.
- Never Initiate Contact: Don't make gestures to other drivers.
- Don't Attract Unnecessary Attention: Use your horn for emergencies only.
If you happen to come across an angry driver it's very important to avoid interaction with them. Never make eye contact and always keep a safe distance from the driver. Be sure to call 911 and report the driver so their reckless behavior can be appropriately stopped as soon as possible.
Road rage can quickly turn a small incident into an unsafe situation. Keep these tips in mind when hitting the road especially during 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., common times for congestion on roads. For more information on how to handle road rage and to take a quiz to find out what kind of driver you are, please visit www.DMV.ca.gov