How To Deal With Road Rage

Last Updated: 10/05/2022

For all of the difficulties that we face when we get behind the wheel to drive a car, sadly, our fellow road users usually create most of the problems that we encounter.

If it’s not as a direct result of their driving, then it’s their actions around their driving that cause us stress.

Road rage is possibly one of the most underestimated problems that we face on the roads – or off them.

From innocent situations, some drivers can become overcome with rage which can be both dangerous and incredibly stressful for the innocent victim on the other end.

While road range can result in serious altercations, it’s often instigated by trivial situations born out of innocent mistakes.

Others may come off the back of instances of dangerous driving, but one thing is for sure, if you’re the victim of a road range incident then it’s a very scary moment.

Driving vehicles can bring out an effect that is common in sports.

Even the calmest of persons can be transformed into an angry and aggressive one as a result of something that happens on the road.

So, what do you do if you’re on the other end of a road rage incident?

How do you minimise the risk to yourself and other passengers that you may have in the car?

How do you report incidents?

Is there a way to diffuse the situation?

What You Will Learn

Being on the receiving end of a road rage incident can not only be incredibly frightening but it can also knock your confidence as a driver.

It’s important to keep in mind that road rage is still fairly uncommon.

Mistakes on the road can usually be dealt with in a calm and mature way.

For the occasions when things do get heated, we have put together this guide to give you some tips for dealing with those situations.

As usual, we want our guide to be as simple to follow as possible so we’ve kept the usual format which is:

  • Step-By-Step Guide
  • Video Demonstration
  • Hints & Tips
  • Useful Information
  • Final Thoughts
  • Further Resources

Step-By-Step Guide

For the sake of this guide, we’re going to imagine a scenario in which a driver has become enraged at something that has happened on the road.

Whether it is your fault or not, the following steps should be taken to try and diffuse the situation or at the very least protect yourself.

  • If a driver becomes aggressive toward you, the first step should be to try and diffuse the situation. If you’re stopped at a junction, for example, hold your hand up and apologise. For most drivers, this will be the end of the situation.
  • If the aggression continues, look away from the culprit and avoid making eye contact with him/her.
  • If you’re able to do so, drive off slowly with care and attention.
  • If the problem persists, pull over somewhere to let the aggressive driver pass you.
  • If they stop and get out of the car, you should never get out of the car yourself. If the driver is aggressive, the car is going to offer you protection. Keep your doors and windows locked.
  • After a minute or so, the driver may get back in his car and drive off.
  • If the situation shows no signs of being diffused and you feel intimidated, then call the police. Aggressive and threatening behaviour is a criminal offence.

Video Demonstration

Hints & Tips

If you’re suddenly confronted by an angry driver who is showing signs of physical aggression then it’s a very harrowing and scary time for you and any passengers you may have.

Your priority should always be to try and calm the situation down so that the driver gets back in his vehicle and leaves the scene.

Here are a few tips:

Mistakes Happen:

While road rage is very scary, it has almost certainly been born out of a mistake.

If this was your mistake, you should make it as obvious as possible that you’re apologetic and taking the blame for the mistake.

If you find yourself being the person in a rage then think the other way.

The other driver has almost certainly made an innocent mistake and just wants to get on with their day…just let it go!

Stay Calm:

If confronted in a road rage situation, you must try your hardest to remain calm as much as possible.

Do nothing to incite further anger from the perpetrator and diffuse the situation if the opportunity presents itself.

Lock Your Doors & Windows:

We stated this above but it can never be overstated.

Your car is a layer of protection between yourself and this potential attacker.

Cars are designed to withstand collisions in traffic so it’s going to give you significant protection from a single person.

Think About What You’re Doing:

Prevention is the best form of cure in the case of road rage.

Think about what you’re doing when you’re on the road and have consideration for other road users and pedestrians.

For example, don’t throw litter out of the car, including cigarette ends.

Don’t Become Agitated By Other Drivers:

Put some emotional distance between yourself and the process of driving.

Don’t allow situations to get to you and do not become agitated by matters on the road.

Slow Down & Hold Back:

If a car pulls in front of you at a junction, then slow down and hold back to give them room.

Don’t be tempted to get close to them or become aggressive.

Useful Information

Road rage situations are incredibly stressful and can leave you in a panic.

Regardless of what is being threatened, you should always try to keep a clear mind and stay inside your vehicle.

If a road rage incident is on-going and you are in fear for your safety, then you should call 999.

The police will be happy to be contacted in scenarios such as this and you should not feel as though you are trivialising anything.

If you wish to report road rage incidents later on, then call the police non-emergency hotline on 101.

You will need to provide as much information as possible.

Final Thoughts

Whatever the cause and however it manifests, road rage incidents are particularly unpleasant.

You should try and give fellow motorists the benefit of the doubt if they make mistakes and never allow it to turn personal or aggressive.

Further Resources