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Road Rage: Here’s How To Keep Cool Whilst Behind The Wheel

Road rage is a very real problem on Britain’s roads. A recent survey has revealed that one in five motorists has faced threats of physical violence whilst driving. Here’s what you need to do to avoid becoming a victim…

Britain’s An Angry Place 

Everyone experiences a modest amount of road rage from time to time. But recent research suggests that we’re getting worse. Whilst one in five motorists experiences threats of physical violence every year, 22% have even left their cars to confront another driver. The most common causes for losing our cool behind the wheel include dangerous overtaking, tailgating and using a mobile phone at the wheel. However, road rage can be exceptionally dangerous. First of all, it naturally diverts our concentration from safe driving, but it also encourages us to take risks. Approaching or antagonising strangers, whilst feelings are running high, is never wise. It’s impossible to know who they are or what they might do.

Neil Worth, road safety officer at GEM (a road safety charity), has stressed the need for drivers to remain calm on the roads. He said, “most of us will have some experience of being on the receiving end of someone else’s aggression. Thankfully, violent and unprovoked attacks are rare, but it pays to be observant and if possible to recognise signs of trouble at their earliest stages.”

Don’t Become A Victim 

GEM has offered its own advice to drivers for avoiding, and deescalating, road rage-inspired incidents…

1) Remain calm and restrain yourself – No matter how frustrated you might become, learn to process anger and frustration internally. Don’t respond to situations with expletives, hand gestures or your car’s horn.

2) Fight the urge to ‘get even’ – Never make the attempt to ‘educate’ or punish another driver. This can put you, and others, in harm’s way. It’s not your job to promote driver safety, or to deal with those who deviate from it.

3) Don’t push into traffic ques – Pushing into traffic ques is a great way to agitate other drivers, many of whom are just as desperate to reach their destinations as you are. Be patient and wait for your turn.

4) Be courteous – If someone gives way to you, for instance, make sure to show your appreciation somehow; gratitude goes a long way. If you make a mistake, say sorry and accept the mistake. It’s different to sustain anger in the face of humility.

5) Get away from the trouble – Sometimes deescalation tactics simply don’t work. If you find yourself faced with a particularly menacing driver, it’s simply safest to leave the area. If you’re being followed, try to reach a local police station or ask others drivers / locals for assistance.

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The Autoserve Club can save you time, money and stress. Club Members can receive discounts on servicing and new tyres and will gain access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.

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