On my way home yesterday I was nearly run off the road by a semi truck. I was merging onto the highway at rush hour when the truck driver matched my speed each time I would slow down or speed up to instead of letting me on. Lucky for me, as the ramp was ending, the driver behind the truck went out of their way to slow down and let me on.
It is easy to get angry in a situation like this. In the back of my mind I was thinking that I really wanted to fly around the truck driver showing him that I would end up passing him eventually. I also wanted to let him know how angry I was. After taking a few deep breaths and really looking at the situation I realized that it isn’t personal. When I observed the truck driver as I merged into the left lanes of the freeway I realized that he was acting this way with every driver he encountered. In the end I did pass the truck with the regular traffic flow of the left lanes and went on with my day.
I bet there isn’t one driver out there that doesn’t encounter road rage on a regular basis. If you have been listening to the news then you have heard the news story about the deadly shooting out in Las Vegas that happened just a couple of weeks ago as a result of road rage. The is an example of a serious road rage case that may have been avoided.
I have gathered some tips, below, that will help you get through this occurrence and hopefully avoid a nightmare.
-Be polite and courteous to other driver’s and always treat them the way that you want to be treated.
-Always be the “bigger” and better person and avoid conflicts with other drivers.
-Don’t take it personally if you are the target of road rage. Other factors are probably causing the other driver to overreact. Put some distance between yourself and that driver.
-Keep your doors locked and never get out of your car to approach an aggressive driver.
-Leave enough space around your car to ensure that you won’t get blocked in by another vehicle.
-Avoid eye contact, honking your horn and hand gestures.
-Never block passing lanes or intersections.
-Dial 911 immediately if you feel that your safety or other’s are threatened.
-Know that you cannot control traffic but you can control your reactions in these high stress situations. Allow extra time to your destination. Listen to your favorite music and take your time. This will decrease your own stress level.
-Avoid driving when you are tired, upset, high stressed, or angry. These emotions can trigger your own road rage and slow down your reaction time while operating your vehicle.
-Talk with friends and family about your experience with road rage. They may have their own stories and advise to share with you.