Man yelling while driving

How to Deal With Aggressive Drivers

The road can be a dangerous, scary, and unpredictable place for many drivers. To stay safe while driving, you must remain alert and aware of those around you. Unfortunately, some drivers can drive very aggressively and exhibit little concern for others on the road. You must learn to deal with aggressive drivers as quickly as possible. If not, they’ll bully you and force you into dangerous situations.

If you’re tired of dealing with aggressive drivers, today’s article is for you! Buckle up, and let’s get started!

Man yelling while driving

Are Aggressive Drivers Dangerous?

Aggressive drivers put themselves and others on the road in dangerous situations. Speeding, changing lanes erratically, tailgating, and running stop signs or red lights are all common dangerous behaviors from drivers.

It’s easy to see how these behaviors can create dangerous conditions for others on the road. Aggressive driving increases the risk of a fatal accident. Considering roughly 35,000 fatal accidents result in 38,000 deaths annually, there’s no room for aggressive driving.

If you witness someone driving aggressively, you must create as much distance as possible between you and the driver. Don’t let their aggression transfer to you and cause you to mimic their reckless behavior.

Stay safe while on the road by using these 5 Tips for Driving Your RV Through The Mountains.

Why Do People Drive Aggressively?

Driving can be extremely stressful, especially in heavy traffic conditions. Some people don’t handle the stress and frustrations of driving, as well as others. In addition, there are a variety of external factors that can contribute to aggressive driving.

Some people wake up on the wrong side of the bed morning after morning. They may get into an argument with their significant other or children as they go about their morning routine. Before they even turn the key in their ignition, they’re already in a sour mood. They’re ready to explode on the first person who doesn’t accelerate fast enough when the light turns green.

If that’s not enough, many drivers head into the office and spend 8 to 12 hours at work. Most people aren’t overly excited about their job and can be exhausted on their way home. The fatigue and overall negative attitude can cause people to drive aggressively.

However, if we’re being honest, some people are just naturally aggressive drivers. They don’t value their safety or the safety of others on the road. They’ll follow too closely and expect others to get out of their way. They’re in a hurry to get where they’re going and get angry if someone gets in their way and slows them down.

Man angry while driving

What Is the Most Common Aggressive Driving Behavior?

The most common form of aggressive driving is speeding, exceeding the speed limit by even a single mile per hour. As a result, just about anyone who has gotten behind the wheel of an automobile is guilty of speeding. Unfortunately, some drivers take speeding to an entirely new level. 

You’ll see a car zoom past you on the interstate doing 15, 20, and potentially even 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. If another driver gets in their way, they’ll get right up on the back of the vehicle to intimidate them into moving. Speeding can be extremely dangerous and increase the likelihood of a serious accident.

In 2020, there were more than 300,000 injuries due to speeding accidents. If you want to avoid being one of them, make sure you or the vehicle’s driver avoid this common aggressive driving behavior. You may get there a few minutes later, but at least you’ll increase your safety.

How Can You Deal With Aggressive Drivers On the Road? 

How you respond to an aggressive driver on the road is important. You can either escalate or de-escalate a situation. Let’s look at some tips to help you deal with aggressive drivers.

Drive Defensively and Keep a Safe Distance

If you witness someone driving aggressively, you need to maintain a good defensive driving posture. This means being aware of the vehicles around you and always having an exit plan should an accident occur. Remember that you may need to change lanes quickly or slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.

In addition, you must keep a safe distance between you and the other driver. Keeping at least two car lengths between you and the driver increases the time you react to a situation. Every second counts when you’re talking about avoiding an accident while driving.

Don’t Honk

If you experience an aggressive driver, one of the worst things you can do is honk at them. If they’re already angry or upset, honking at them won’t help. Aggressive people behave unpredictably, and anger can quickly turn into road rage. There have been some horrific accidents and encounters due to road rage.

You never know how someone will respond to your honking. Unfortunately, you also don’t know the type of weapons an aggressive driver may have in their vehicle. Honking them for cutting you off or driving recklessly could cause them to start directing their anger toward you. The last thing you want is to be the target of an aggressive driver. Do yourself a favor and lay off the horn.

Stay Calm and Be Courteous

The best thing you can do in these situations is to remain calm and be courteous to other drivers. We know this is typically easier said than done. However, if you want to stay safe while driving, it will be necessary.

You must consider other drivers and pick up the slack for the aggressive driver. Allow other drivers to change lanes as necessary to avoid the aggressive driver. Don’t let the other driver’s negative attitude impact your driving. Just because someone else cut you off doesn’t mean you should start cutting off others.

Don’t Block the Passing Lane

Unfortunately, sometimes we as drivers make mistakes and push other drivers over the edge into aggressive behaviors. One mistake we often see drivers make is riding in the passing lane on a highway or interstate. Thankfully, several states have even made this an offense where officers can issue citations.

Do your part to help other drivers by staying out of this lane. This helps maintain traffic flow and allows faster-moving vehicles to go around you easily. If you witness an aggressive driver, it’s essential to consider the potential that you may not be entirely innocent in the situation. While nothing excuses poor or aggressive behavior from drivers, we must do our part to be the best drivers we can be.

Let the Aggressive Driver Pass You

In the end, the best thing you can do is let the aggressive driver pass you. Having them in front of you can make it easier to keep your eyes looking forward. If they’re speeding, they’ll quickly leave you behind, and you and any passengers in your vehicle will be safer.

If you feel stressed or angry due to a driver, find a spot to take a breather. This could be a gas station, rest stop, or another establishment. Grab a snack or go for a walk, whatever it takes to calm your nerves. Don’t let another driver’s bad attitude and unsafe practices affect you.

Man yelling out car window

What Can You Do to Prevent Being an Aggressive Driver?

To avoid being an aggressive driver, you need to learn to relax while driving. Drivers typically aren’t cutting you off as a way of insulting you. Like you, they’re heading to a destination and have a place they’d like to go. Remember, they want to arrive as quickly and safely as possible.

Take a moment to take some deep breaths and relax if you feel stressed at the start of your drive. If not, one simple mistake from a fellow driver could send you over the edge and cause you to drive aggressively. 

Keep calm and drive to one of these 10 Safe Travel Destinations for a Solo Road Trip.

Calm Driving Can Save Lives

By staying calm while driving, you can save lives. Driving can be incredibly dangerous without the added difficulties of aggressive driving. If you value your safety and the safety of others, you must avoid aggressive driving at all costs. 

If this means slowing down or getting out of the way of other drivers, then do it. It’s better to arrive late than not at all at your destination.

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