Road rage - and how to deal with it

We often hear that one’s true character is revealed in the way they treat others, especially those not in one’s personal circle of interaction. But how often do we actually consider the persona we present to others when we are on the road - and how that persona makes us look?  

Why are we picking on character? Well, the way we react to situations is mostly conceived from character – and thus road rage can say a lot about your character (or lack thereof). But with every situation, there are steps that can be taken to avoid or remove yourself from the situation.

Here’s a short guide on how to deal with a road rage situation and the aggressive drivers you may encounter:

  • Create your own safe space. Leave enough space between yourself and the cars around you. This may be hard in bumper-to-bumper traffic but try to create enough room to wiggle your way out of a vulnerable situation with an aggressive driver.
  • Stay in your car. Should you find yourself in a situation where the other driver exits their car to confront you, do your bit to not alleviate the situation by staying in your car and avoiding physical confrontation.
  • Collect yourself. Once you have gotten yourself out of the situation, as soon as it’s safe to do so, pull over to the side of the road and regain your composure. Try calm yourself down before getting back on the road where you will be interacting with other drivers.
  • Drive yourself to safety. Some road rage altercations end up in a chase; if that is where you find yourself then it’s best to drive to the nearest police station and get the authorities to assist you.
  • Apologise. If you find yourself being the one in the wrong, acknowledge your fault and apologise by flicking your hazards or using (polite!) hand gestures before driving off.
  • Crank up your tunes, not your attitude. Instead of getting yourself worked up by an agressive, why not let music calm you down? Crank up the music and calm your attitude.

Driving is an extension of your personality, so next time you are behind the wheel, be sure you behave in a manner that will bring about good vibes with other drivers. It’s also important to note that road rage incidents are taken seriously – they can be listed on your record as a criminal offense.

For more tips on how to avoid road rage, check out Arrive Alive’s 10-point plan.

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