What To Do in a Road Rage Situation
“Malaysian Drivers” are famous for one thing: dangerous driving. Although this remains debatable, the fact is that driver discipline on our roads is quite lax and very few drivers seem to follow the basic driving rules they were taught when they were in driving school.
How often have we all experienced people who switch lanes without warning and without using their signal? With all of this going on, tensions can sometimes rise especially when you make use of your car horn, even if only to avoid an accident.
So when tensions rise to the point where it gives way to road rage and drivers lose their cool, there are a few things you can do to de-escalate the situation.
The first thing you need to do is to breathe. Your emotions are running high and in a tense situation on the road your instincts turn defensive; your senses may be compromised and that's dangerous when you're behind the wheel.
2. Do not escalate the situation
No matter what happens, no matter how tempting it may be, never escalate the situation. That means that you should not get out of the car, and you should not even make eye contact with the other driver who is behaving aggressively towards you.
Keep your eyes on the road in front of you at all times.
3. Go to a police station / crowded area
If you're still scared and find yourself being followed by the other driver, drive to a safe public area. A police station would be best, but any other crowded places would still be good, like a petrol station.
Usually, road bullies are just that: bullies. Being in a crowded place with lots of witnesses would help to discourage them from behaving aggressively.
Yet no matter how safely you drive on the road, sometimes you may find yourself being the aggressor instead. Perhaps someone cut you off without signalling, or perhaps someone almost hit your car while you were driving safely in your lane.
Don’t feel too guilty, this happens all the time.
The goal here is to make sure that you yourself do not end up becoming a road bully.
The first step here is to apply some of the same rules mentioned above: take deep breaths, stay in your car, and do not escalate; basically, no matter how tempting it may be, do not start a fight with the other car.
My advice for avoiding a fight and letting yourself cool down?
Let the other car go away. Slow your own car down so that the other car can gain distance from you; when they are out of sight, it’ll be a lot easier for you to calm yourself down.
Remember: Getting into a fight because of what another driver did is simply not worth it.