Road rage! How to avoid it, how to respond

By Lauren Fix, The Car Coach

Have you noticed that drivers have not been paying attention to the roadways lately? Even worse, some are just angry and out of control, and I have seen some really dumb actions by drivers.

Road rage has returned with some deadly results. How can you avoid these drivers and how to respond could save your life or someone else’s.

Stay till the end of the video for the contest.

We all share the roads, and anyone with a legal driver’s license has the privilege to share it as well. Have you shared the road with an aggressive driver before? It can make you frustrated, but it’s how you respond that changes the situation.

I spoke with Shelia Dunn, Communications Director of the non-profit National Motorists Association, and they have designated September as Driver Courtesy Month. The Are You a Courteous Driver? Quiz is a free, online quiz to find out just how courteous you are on the road. A bonus: They’ll be drawing the names of six eligible September participants who will each win a great prize that every motorist should own. Take the test.

Here’s how to avoid Road Rage and how to respond.

  • Maintain adequate following distance and avoid tailgating other vehicles.
  • If another driver is acting aggressively, always get out of their way and let them pass. Don’t risk your safety by provoking an angry response.
  • Sometimes patience is a virtue. If you’ve made your intention to pass clear, give the other driver a chance to practice courteous driving by letting you pass when it’s safe.
  • If a driver is tailgating, don’t take it personally! Look for opportunities to let the other driver pass safely.
  • Use your turn signals – one of my pet peeves.
  • Allow others to merge.
  • If you use your horn – don’t overdo it. I know there are times, but consider the circumstances and avoid the extra hand gestures too.
  • In parking lots, take one spot and park square.
  • Remain calm and avoid hand gestures.
  • Don’t respond to aggression with aggression—it will escalate.
  • Set a good example for your kids if they are in the car.

The Bottom line

I know this takes practice, be tolerant, and DO NOT respond to aggressive drivers. Call 9-1-1 and drive to the closest police station, hospital, or fire station if they are really out of control. It is never worth escalating the acts of a stupid driver because it will never end well.

Put your stories in the comments below and take the test. The link is below.

Are You a Courteous Driver? Quiz—Take it today!

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, analyst, author, and television host.  A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and aspects, energy, industry, consumer news, and safety issues.   

Lauren is the CEO of Automotive Aspects and the Editor-in-Chief of Car Coach Reports, a global automotive news outlet. She is an automotive contributor to national and local television news shows, including Fox News, Fox Business, CNN International, The Weather Channel, Inside Edition, Local Now News, Community Digital News, and more. Lauren also co-hosts a regular show on with Paul Brian called “His Turn – Her Turn” and hosts regular radio segments on USA Radio – DayBreak. 

Lauren is honored to be inducted into the Women’s Transportation Hall of Fame and a Board Member of the Buffalo Motorcar Museum and Juror / President for the North American Car, Utility & Truck of the Year Awards.  

Check her out on Twitter and Instagram @LaurenFix.

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