How to diffuse road rage this summer travel season

According to a AAA study, 8 million drivers engaged in extreme road rage, including purposely ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver. 

The study also revealed that 9 out of 10 people believe aggressive drivers are a serious threat to their personal safety.  

Knowing how to prevent and diffuse a dangerous road rage situation can help you drive off and avoid a violent confrontation.

Below are some safety tips from Krav Maga Worldwide on handling road rage incidents and aggressive drivers.

  • Be the bigger person. If a driver seems to be getting aggressive do what you can to defuse the situation. For example, if they are tailgating you move over to the next lane or if they decide to yell at you from their car don’t acknowledge them and keep your distance. Avoid adding fuel to the fire by yelling back or staring at them.
  • Admit your mistake. If you did cut someone off or did another driving no-no use an “I’m sorry” gesture like waving your hand to let them know you acknowledge your mistake and apologize. 
  • Don’t be a tough guy/girl. If a road rage incident does take place and the driver exits their vehicle looking for a fight, immediately lock your doors and call 911. Most states also have a specific number that you can call to report dangerous and aggressive drivers.  
  • Learn basic protection skills. It’s important for your safety that you equip yourself with basic self-defense skills that can stop someone from assaulting you. Most self-defense classes also teach verbal and body language skills, which can be helpful in deterring assailants in these types of situations.

To avoid being an aggressive driver:

  • Give yourself time. The most common reason people tend to turn into aggressive drivers is that they are running late or in a rush to get to their destination. Give yourself an extra 5 to 10 minutes to get to your destination. 
  • Jam out. Listening to your favorite music, podcasts or audiobooks will help you enjoy your time on the road. Instead of being annoyed by the same songs on the radio this will help you relax and take your mind off the traffic. Just make sure to keep your eyes and mind on the road. 
  • Just breathe. Driving can be a stressful situation and cause even the calmest person to tense up at times. Remember to breathe and that you can’t control traffic or other drivers, but you can do your part in keeping the road safe and your anger in check. 

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