Would you be surprised to hear that there is research that shows that drivers with road rage are seldom right, but never in doubt? Quite simple and trivial mistakes can escalate into road rage confrontations. Today’s traffic conditions, with clogged roads and holdups can be very stressful, with everybody becoming impatient, and when another driver does something unexpected, selfish or worse, endangers your safety, you naturally feel very angry.
Knowing who is right or wrong will not diffuse the situation. You have to decide to calm things down, without caring about who is in the right or the wrong. Why not you? Be quick to accept the blame, even if you don’t deserve it. All it takes is a friendly wave, a smile and even saying “sorry”. Back off, make a gap and maintain your own safety zone and your peace of mind.
Years of informal surveys have found that the most common things that can lead to road rage are: not indicating lane changes or turns; driving slowly in the outside lane; holding up traffic; using a mobile phone; indecision or not knowing the rules at intersections and roundabours; inability to merge properly, merging like a zip, and aggressive and risky driving.
You expect and trust that other drivers will know the rules and drive safely, but looking at this list of things that lead to road rage, there are things that we have all done from time to time, even if unintentiionally. Have you ever forgotten to indicate or done a late lane change? You can’t change other people, and if you yell at them in their car, have you notice that they can’t hear you, and probably don’t care either.
Any display of ill will or anger on your part could reflect poorly on your company, and you as a professional driver. Also, you will not arrive in a very good state of mind. The only person you can change is you. You can make sure you know the rules and just the right thing to do. It’s never worth riskying your safety. Be the first to smile, wave and say sorry.