How to deal with aggressive drivers
The best way to deal with aggressive drivers is to avoid them in the first place. But that’s not always possible. When you’re cruising down the highway, doing the speed limit – not 10 to 15 miles under it – and you’re suddenly confronted with one seriously aggressive driver, there’s a split second or two when you have the opportunity to take safe and appropriate action.
First, get out of the way. The advice of safety experts and law enforcement officials is not to engage the aggressive driver in any way. That just invites retaliation, and you may not be prepared for the consequences.
It’s also important to avoid eye contact with the aggressive driver. We’re much like animals in that respect. When one animal feels challenged, the natural animal instinct kicks in and a battle often ensues. Don’t be like that. It’s smart to avoid confrontation – especially when the weapon is a vehicle weighing several thousand pounds.
Being prepared means you need to use your smarts to ensure your safety as well as that of any passengers in your vehicle. You might be stopped at a traffic light or in freeway congestion when an aggressive driver jumps out of his vehicle and comes at you. Keep your doors locked and make sure the windows are up.
Always maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This is a precaution that helps you not only if the driver in front slams on the brakes suddenly, but also allows you enough room to maneuver around the car should you need to – as in the case that it’s an aggressive driver bent on taking things further.
Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities, making sure to give the vehicle description, license number, location and, if possible route of travel.
Vitally important: never underestimate the other driver’s potential for aggression. This might just be the last straw for that person, the point at which his simmering aggression boils over. Don’t be a victim. Keep your wits about you at all times.