If you’ve been driving a truck for any amount of time, you’ve probably seen your share of crazy things people do on the road. From bad driving to outright aggression, drivers sometimes forget they have to share the road with everyone else.
Road rage is something we’re all familiar with. Other drivers can make us angry with their stupidity, thoughtlessness, or dangerous driving habits. When we move from anger into actual aggression, bad things happen.
Over 60% of traffic fatalities each year are due to aggressive driving, and half of all drivers answer aggression with more aggression out on the road. As a truck driver, you know how much damage can be done on the road. Now add in anger and aggressive behavior, and it can get bad very quickly.
The best thing to do is to avoid road rage – either feeling it or causing it. In this first post of our Safety Meeting Series, let’s discuss avoiding road rage.
Common Causes of Road Rage
Almost anything can trigger anger in someone, but on the roads, there are a few common causes of road rage. You may recognize things that make you upset when you’re behind the wheel:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Driving slowly in the passing or left lane
- Using obscene gestures
- Honking your horn too much
- Using high beams when driving behind someone as “punishment” for bad driving behavior
- Focusing on your cell phone and not on driving
- Not allowing people to pass you on the road
To avoid causing road rage in another driver, drive safely and follow all traffic laws. If you begin to feel the affects of your own road rage, as you deal with inconsiderate or bad drivers, there are things you can do to reduce road rage.
Reducing Road Rage
You may be angry with the other drivers or realize that you’ve upset other people on the road. Regardless of which situation you’re in, there are things you can do to reduce road rage and the potentially violent and dangerous incidents that it can lead to:
- Avoid confrontations. If a driver follows you until you stop and gets out of their vehicle to confront you, do not exit your cab. Contact the authorities instead.
- Avoid eye contact. Looking over at the driver you’ve just angered may be like adding gasoline to a fire.
- Slow down or move over to let the other driver go around you.
- Move over if you’re being tailgated. Yes, they shouldn’t be tailgating, but slowing down to make them angry is only going to cause problems.
- Be mindful of your driving. Did you accidentally cut someone off? Are you tailgating? Consider the different driving habits that upset other people and adjust your own driving
Whether you’re the one who’s upset at other drivers on the road or you’re unintentionally causing someone else to become upset, keep these rules in mind to make sure everyone arrives safe and sound at their destination without causing an accident or giving in to their road rage.
This Safety Meeting Series is brought to you by Gorilla Safety, the leading provider in fleet management services.