Topic updated: November 2012

Road Rage and Traffic Safety

Road Rage is the Wrong Way

You know aggressive drivers who weave in and out of traffic, drive too fast on crowded highways, tailgate, scream at you or use obscene gestures. They are a new kind of road hazard.

Let's face it... at one time or another, everyone has been angry while driving. In today's hectic, fast-paced world, it's easy to become frustrated, and increasingly people express their anger when driving. Avoid the consequences of road rage by following these tips.

Did You Know ?

  • The most obvious form of road rage is aggressive and excessive speeding, particularly on congested highways or in bad weather.
  • Speed causes nearly one-third of all fatal motor vehicle crashes.
  • Speeding reduces the time drivers have to avoid a crash or a dangerous situation and greatly increases the likelihood the crash will be severe.
  • The energy released in a collision at 60 mph is 200 percent greater than at 40 mph, even though the speed has increased by only 50 percent.

Control Yourself

  • Wind down before you crank it up. Avoid making other drivers angry by avoiding anger yourself.
  • Anticipate situations and make plans accordingly. Regular traffic reports in most cities alert you to the traffic congestion. Learn alternate routes or leave for work earlier.
  • Take action before stress and fatigue get to you. Learn to spot warning signs and act on them.
  • If you plan a long journey, take it in stages. Do not remain behind the wheel for more than three hours without a break.

Be Patient & Pay Attention

  • Don't yell or use obscene gestures.
  • Don't block the passing lane. Stay to the right if you are obstructing the flow of traffic.
  • Always signal when changing lanes. Use your horn sparingly.
  • Don't tailgate.
  • Cooperate and don't compete on the road. Let other drivers merge into traffic in an orderly fashion.
  • Don't take another's actions personally. Everybody makes mistakes.

Avoid A Driving Assault

  • Don't react to another driver's uncivil behavior--avoid eye contact and don't tailgate, accelerate, brake or swerve suddenly, which can be seen as confrontational.
  • If confronted by an aggressive driver, go to the nearest police station if you continue to be hassled or think you are being followed.
  • Lock your doors.
  • When stopped in traffic, leave enough space to pull out from behind the car you are following.
  • Don't be tempted to start a fight or carry any sort of weapon. These acts may provoke an assault.

For more information from the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration.

traffic on a highway, blurred

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