Heather and I went to see a concert last week featuring Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, and AFI. We arrived early, found a great parking space, and made our way into the venue. From 6:30 to 11:00, thousands of people cheered and clapped and sang together, and we were all bound together by the music. When the final song ended, everyone made their way to the parking lot, still laughing and smiling and everything seemed wonderful.
Unfortunately, that’s where everything fell apart.
It seems that when we’re all elbow to elbow in a crowded venue people act much differently than when they’re isolated in their own 2 ton automobiles. Sure, nobody likes traffic. I get that. It sucks that you spend 4 hours listening to great music at an awesome event only to have to spend another hour or two in the parking lot trying to go back home to your regular life. But we don’t have to resort to blowing our horns and threatening each other do we?
I tried to be nice and let other polite drivers in front of me when I could, knowing it was just going to be a long night either way. Unfortunately, some drivers were extremely aggressive and there was more than one moment where I started thinking defensively, looking for anything in my car that I could use to defend myself. It got me thinking about safety behind the wheel and what you should do when you’re confronted by an aggressive driver.
I did a quick Google search and here’s some information I found that I think everyone should be aware of regarding aggressive drivers:
- Don’t respond to the aggressive driver and avoid eye contact.
- Don’t challenge the driver by speeding up or slowing down in traffic.
- Allow aggressive drivers to pass you by changing lanes or pulling over if possible. Avoiding aggressive drivers is often the safest option.
- Call the authorities to report aggressive driving. There may be nothing they can do but if the driver is in an accident down the road at least they’ll have a record of someone driving recklessly.
- Always wear your seat belt. Every safety feature in your vehicle is designed around the idea that you’re wearing your seatbelt.
- Most importantly, don’t get out of your vehicle. You’re inside a big box of metal and glass. It’s a lot more protection than you have outside.
Most of it is common sense, but in that moment when you’re confronted and the adrenaline starts pumping, it’s easy to act irrationally. Driving is probably the most dangerous thing the majority of us do every day, so knowing how to safely deal with bad situations is very important.
What are some other suggestions for dealing with aggressive drivers? Do you have a story about an encounter you had? Let me know in the comments.
National Road Safety