No one has to tell you what it feels like when you are stressed out, angry, upset, or tired. You know the symptoms, but generally speaking, you are so wrapped up in them that you don’t realize your emotions may be affecting your driving. So even when in the midst of the most consuming temper tantrum, step back and recognize you’re driving compromised. Then, either fix the problem or don’t drive.
Drivers who display inappropriate emotions while driving, such as grief or worry, will not have their attention on the road and will drive erratically. Here are some useful tips on avoiding aggression when behind the wheel:
- Don’t cut off other drivers. When you merge, make sure you have enough room and always signal before you merge.
- Don’t drive slowly in the far-left lane. Avoid using this lane except for the brief time it takes to pass another driver. Driving slowly in the far-left lane frustrates other drivers.
- Don’t tailgate. Many drivers get angry when they are followed too closely. Remember to keep the appropriate following distance between you and the car ahead of you.
- Don’t signal gestures to other drivers.
- Use your horn for emergencies only. Even a polite tap of your horn may be enough to provoke another driver.
Aggressive or angry driving is also commonly referred to as road rage. Road rage behaviors include rude and offensive gestures, verbal insults, physical threats or dangerous driving methods targeted toward another driver or a pedestrian in an effort to intimidate or release frustration. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults and collisions that result in serious physical injuries or even death. Strategies include long horn honks, swerving, tailgating and attempting to fight the other driver. It is important to know that you can be cited for different instances of road rage!
If you or someone you know has been cited for a traffic infraction regarding aggressive driving, they may be able to get their fine reduced by taking traffic school. If you are eligible to take a driver improvement course for your traffic citation, we highly recommend Cheap Easy Fast Online Defensive Driving. The course is entirely free to try, and it’s approved by all California courts. They also operate online and video courses in other states. Check their website to see if your state is included. Until next time, keep your eyes on the road!