There are few instances in life where your ability to control your emotions can be the difference between life or death. Road rage is one of them.
When someone is yelling at you and calling you names, think of this as his or her invitation for you to jump into the pool with them. Just remember, it’s a cesspool, and you don’t want anything to do with it.
In most every case of road rage, there is an opportunity for you to just ride off, no matter what was said, by not escalating it you’ll never even know the name of the other party.
However, if you let the situation escalate and you make that jump into the cesspool, you may end up seeing that person again and again in court. So here are some basic strategies to handle road rage incidents.
- Never brake, check, or ride someone’s bumper because you feel slighted. There is no upside and it will further escalate the situation. In this case, you’re inviting the other person to jump into your cesspool – not smart.
- Avoid pulling up to the car in front of you at a red light. Road rage or not, always leave room to turn your car around at a red light, so that you don’t get trapped.
- If someone is flipping you the middle finger, honking, or cursing, and therefore makes you want to retaliate, then that may be your ego talking. Not responding to childish, vulgar acts, isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of intelligence and maturity. Ego is a poor substitute for intelligence, so keep it in check and move on.
- Never get out of your car. If someone gets out of their car and begins to approach your car, you should lock the doors, roll up your windows and call 911. This way you will not be engaging the other driver and will be advising the police of where you are, what’s going on, and giving a description of the driver and their vehicle. You are in a very secure place inside of your vehicle.
- Never follow someone. What’s the upside to doing that? None! Let’s say the other driver stopped, got out and kicked out your headlight, then ran back to their car and took off. Would chasing them down do anything to change that? No, of course not, it would most likely escalate the situation. People get killed over the most minor of events. Instead, take a picture of their license plate with your smartphone and file a police report. Their tag will lead the police straight to the driver’s front door.
Bonus: Finally if you are being harassed, followed, or anything related to road rage, you should pull straight up to a very public place like a Walmart, a Home Depot, or a grocery store. Don’t just park in their parking lot, pull right up to the front door so you have lots of witnesses. Keep all doors locked and wait for the police to arrive.
Many people fall victim to senseless crimes like road rage, victimized by someone they don’t know, and will never meet again, after the incident. Many drivers who fall victim to this type of crime could have completely avoided it all together.
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