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Putting the brakes on road rage

Unfortunately, any of us who negotiate the nation’s roads will, at some point, have experienced situations that tested our patience to its limits.  Some of us might channel this anger admirably so that it becomes little more than a minor annoyance, but others could be triggered into exploding in a ball of road rage.  Getting into a confrontation with another driver over a traffic issue is highly dangerous territory.

This infographic explores the troubling topic that is road rage. It is frightening that more than 80 per cent of drivers on UK roads claim to have been the victims of road rage incidents.  Five per cent of these have even been physically attacked because of their driving.  That said, some of these victims may well have also perpetrated their own bouts of road rage at other times; roughly one in five motorists admits to having gotten out of their car to confront other drivers.

What triggers road rage?

You can probably identify the things that cause you to get angry while behind the wheel. Triggers such as being stuck behind a slow driver, repeatedly missing green lights, being cut off by other road users and getting caught in traffic can unnerve even the most placid of us.  How you deal with such inevitable occurrences, though, defines how prone you are to see the red mist of road rage. Do you lose the cool and cut off other drivers?  Do you swear profusely and make offensive gestures to other road users?  Do you use the horn frequently or tailgate other drivers?

Avoid road rage by planning ahead

If you answered yes to all, or even any, of these, you may be well advised to carry out some introspection and put such habits to bed. Take a deep breath and count to five. If you have room to pull over and let someone overtake safely, do so. If you expect the possibility of traffic, leave 15 minutes earlier than initially intended. Also, if possible, don’t get into your car if you’re already stressed. Give your head some peace before you pull off.

All of this is covered in the infographic below, and its most educational feature is its advice on what to do if confronted by an angry driver. Many of us could panic and retreat into our shells in such a situation. While this is still better than responding in kind and getting into a physical altercation with your attacker, there are reasoned, helpful steps that you can take to deal with road rage aggressors.

Road rage infographic

Infographic provided by Southside Motor Factors.

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