Reducing Road Rage


• Don't cut off or drive slowly in the left-hand lane. Use your signal to let other drivers know of your intentions. If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by. In many states, the law stipulates the left lane for passing only. If you do cut someone off, try to apologize by using an appropriate gesture.

• Don't be a tailgater. Allow at least a two-second space between your car and the car ahead. If the car in front of you is going too slowly and you cannot pass— pull back and allow more space, not less. This way, if the driver does something unexpectedly, you will have time to get out of the way. If you feel like you are being tailgated, signal and pull over to let the other vehicle go by.

• Don't engage or respond. Avoid gesturing, even if it is as simple as shaking your fist in anger. Use your horn rarely, if ever. Refuse to become angry at aggressive drivers. Instead, if they try to pick a fight, give them as much room and distance on the road as possible. Never, pull to the side of the road to try and "settle things."

• Avoid eye contact. Looking or staring at another driver can turn an impersonal encounter into a duel.

• Alert authorities. If you believe you are being followed by an aggressive driver, use your cell phone or pull into a safe, well-lit location (such as a police station, convenience store or shopping center) to call police.

• Get help. Anger management classes teach effective techniques that can reduce aggressive-driving attitude and behavior. Self-help books on anger management and stress reduction can also be helpful.