Advice On Road Rage - Avoid conflict on the road
- Share the road safely. Give yourself time and space to react to others - and their mistakes.
- Keep calm, show restraint. Every car journey brings a risk of frustration and conflict. Before you set off, be determined not to succumb to it, or to let 'liberty-takers' get to you.
- They're not out to get you! Most aggravating moves by other drivers are unintentional. We all make mistakes. Don't show your frustration by making gestures: they may mean nothing to you but could be the last straw for others.
- Don't compete or retaliate. If someone's driving annoys you, don't try to 'educate' them. Leave traffic policing to the police and driving instruction to professionals.
- Be patient in traffic. Don't push into traffic queues. If you wait and clearly signal what you want to do, other drivers will usually let you in: they don't like being forced to do so.
- Set an example to others. Give way at busy junctions or where traffic lanes merge: it won't delay your journey by much. Wherever there's merging traffic, follow the rule 'Let one in and go.'
- Say thanks. Courtesy encourages cooperative, safe use of the road.
- Say sorry. Apologising to the other driver when you make a mistake reduces confrontation and helps to defuse anger.
Violent motoring-related incidents
So-called 'road rage' attacks are rare. But it is important to know what to do if you feel threatened by another driver:
- Try not to react. Avoid making eye contact, which may be seen as confrontational.
- Don't respond by accelerating, braking or swerving suddenly. The other driver may think that you are looking for an argument, and you could lose control of the car.
- If you think you are being followed try to drive to a busy public place, or a police station, before you stop. If you're on a motorway, mingle with other vehicles. Don't leave the motorway for unfamiliar roads.
- Keep the car doors and boot locked. Also keep the windows and sunroof only partly open in urban areas.
- Physical threats - Stay in your car and lock the doors. If you have one, call for help on your mobile phone, and use the car's horn and lights to attract attention.
- Never carry any kind of defensive weapon. It could simply provoke a potential assailant.