Even though morning rush hour tends to be the worst, Dallas traffic can remain heavy until 7 p.m. Unfortunately, more motorists on the road sometimes mean more frustrated drivers. As infuriating as it is to encounter an aggressive driver when you are also irritated by traffic, retaliating is not a good idea.
Just in case you ever share the road with an aggressive driver, here are a few things you can do:
1. Ignore the aggressive driver
Having a bad day, drinking too much or being stressed out by traffic are common triggers for road rage. Ignoring someone honking at you, calling you names or making inappropriate hand gestures can be difficult, but it is the safest and best thing to do.
Do not respond or make eye contact. Focus only on your driving and keep a safe distance from the aggressive driver.
2. Remove yourself from the situation
If, after ignoring the driver, they refuse to calm down, the smart thing to do is remove yourself from the situation. Pull over to the nearest safe area and allow the other driver to pass.
Finding reason with someone whose emotions are running high can be difficult. Stay calm and focus on getting to your destination safely instead.
3. Rewire your thinking
A driver may appear aggressive at first, but they may actually be experiencing an emergency. Those rushing to get someone to the hospital often resort to speeding and other risky driving behaviors.
You do not always know what someone is going through. If another driver cuts you off, take a deep breath and relax; it’s not your job to teach them a lesson.
4. Check yourself
It can be hard to accept, but sometimes it is your actions that are causing someone else to be aggressive. Check to see if you did anything while driving that other people could find offensive. You might be driving too slowly because you’re texting or always forgetting to use your turn signal. Take the time to fix your mistakes so there are fewer chances of offending other motorists.
Retaliating against an aggressive driver is a common reaction, but it usually backfires and makes the other driver act out even more. Road rage often triggers extreme emotions, resulting in shootings and murders. Therefore, it’s important to prioritize safety over getting even.