Reducing Road Rage

Road rage can result in unsafe driving, property damage, personal injury or death.
Tips to reduce your chances of becoming a road rage victim:

  • Don't take traffic problems personally. Traffic is not an organized conspiracy to keep you from getting to your destination.
  • Allow adequate time to reach destinations. Don't speed. Running late escalates your stress level and causes you to take unnecessary risks. An early departure reduces stress, safens driving and creates fewer road rage encounters.
  • If you know you will be late, phone ahead or consider a hands-free cell phone. A phone call only takes a few seconds. It is a polite gesture, and it reduces driving stress. Telephone prior to driving. If not able to, consider using a hands-free device for your cell phone. Thus, you keep both hands free and you can concentrate on the vehicles around you.
  • Avoid the passing lane. Aggressive and angry drivers often use this lane. Limit time spent there.
  • Do not respond in kind. Do not engage in contests to determine who performs the last gesture, revs their engine, flashes their headlights, honks their horn, or delivers the last aggressive lane change. There may be temporary satisfaction; however, it only inflames situations.
  • Don't tailgate! Following too closely is a major cause of accidents. If being followed too closely, allow the tailgater to pass.
  • Avoid excessive use of your high beam headlights. Except for when necessary, don't use your high beam headlights, especially when following another vehicle.
  • Avoid eye contact. Avoid making direct eye contact with angry or aggressive drivers. If eye contact is unavoidable, consider a look that indicates a lack of thought on your behalf.
  • Minimize lane changes and avoid cutting in front of other drivers. Plan any lane changes in advance and always signal first. Never cut another driver off. When cut off by another driver, slow down and give the driver room. Never pass on the right.
  • Avoid performing multiple activities. Spilled coffee, eating in the car and talking on the phone are all activities that could cause an accident and irritate other drivers.
  • Report any incidents of road rage. Report aggressive or angry drivers to the police, 913/588-5030. If possible, record descriptions of the suspect, their vehicle and their license plate number. Reports involving the same driver and/or vehicle can allow police to establish patterns and effect arrests. Never pursue an aggressive driver or create a hazard in an effort to obtain information.
  • Seek safe havens. If followed by an aggressive driver, quickly seek refuge in an area heavily populated and immediately request some assistance. Know your location and immediately contact local law enforcement authorities when safe to do so. Never exit your vehicle or confront the other driver.

For more information about safety tips, contact Captain Robert Gibson at 588-5030 e-mail rgibson1@kumc.edu

Last modified: Mar 19, 2013
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