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How to Control Road Rage and Drive Safely

Updated on April 5, 2013

What is Road Rage

Whether anyone likes it or not, most drivers have reacted against another driver in some shape or form. It could be as simple as giving a short tap on the horn or as aggressive as winding down the window and yelling at the other driver. Road rage have seen a climbing trend worldwide, in the United States alone, more than 250 cases of road rage each year have led to aggravated injuries, some even leading to death. Road rage is primarily caused by impatience towards another driver and in some instances; road rage can be caused by a driver that is overcome with personal problems.

Try to understand the other driver

Like all forms or rage and pent up feelings of anger and hostility, the good thing is; road rage can be controlled. Even though releasing pent up anger towards another person who will not retaliate will give you a form of release, keeping your calm can result in a complete feeling of peace at the end of the day, knowing you allowed cooler heads to prevail. To help you control road rage, these ten steps will hopefully lead you towards a better overall driving experience and a happier road user:

Road Rage

Road rage
Road rage

Control your breathing

In a moment of adrenaline-filled anger frenzy, you will tend to react according to your emotions and not think clearly. It is crucial to get a grip of yourself and start monitoring your breathing. Taking in multiple deep breaths, holding it for a few seconds and breathing out slowly is a good tip to follow. After your deep breathing, you will notice that your angry reaction was unnecessary and can be easily avoided.

Avoid eye contact and speak calmly

At times, you will be the victim of a road rage. Getting angry towards the other driver will only aggravate matters. It could result to fights that may lead to physical injuries. If you are honked or cursed at, even if it was not your fault, try to avoid eye contact at all costs and just wave a hand to show you are apologetic. If the driver gets out of their car and tries to talk to you, lock your doors and try to speak calmly through your window.

Be nice and courteous

Drivers are constantly taught to be courteous and nice during their formative months or years in driving school but most of the lessons get figuratively thrown out of the window. Waving a hand as an appreciative or apologetic gesture can make someone’s day. Smiling, giving an appreciative nod or giving someone the “thumbs up” sign can also ease road rage. Winking at a woman when her boyfriend or husband is beside her is a huge no-no though.

Do not be a vigilante

You are not a traffic police officer. It is not your job to punish others when someone makes a mistake or if they are driving poorly. They could be a new driver or unfamiliar with the location. Cutting them off, tailgating them or gesturing them negatively are just a few instances of how road rage begins. If someone makes a mistake, forgive them and if necessary, overtake them and forget.

Maintain composure

People make mistakes, even you. So before you go ballistic, try to think of your driving faults as well and maintain your composure. Reacting blatantly will only cause you excessive stress and ruin your mood for the whole day.

Russian Road Rage

Listen to the proper music

It is no secret that high tempo and high bass music will only get you worked up. It is why action movies with car chases in them are full of quick tempo music. Listening to these type of music will only make you drive faster and put other road users at risk. Statistics show that young drivers who were arrested over road rage were mostly listening to music high in bass and quick in pace. Tone down your music and pick out a soothing radio station.

The car is not a therapist

Having a bad day will not go away if you drive your car faster, more aggressively and if you are being a jerk to other road users. Taking out other road users with road rage will not solve any problems at work or at home. Always keep in mind; the car is only your mode of transportation, not something you can take out your feelings to.


It is a well known fact; people get really cranky when they lack sleep. To prevent road rage, get enough shut eye and rest. Lack of sleep contributes even more on the road where impatience, anger and annoyance are at every corner. The recommended amount of sleep is eight hours. Coffee does not compensate lack of sleep.

Stop and take a breather

If another driver has left you fuming in rage, the most sensible thing to do would be to pull over to the side of the road and compose yourself. Do not allow your mind to dwell on the actions of the other driver and focus on where you are heading to. Remember to breathe and if you have a bottle of water with you, take a sip or two to calm yourself down.

Even though road rage is increasingly around the world, it is controllable so always ensure that you do not get carried away by your anger when you are driving. Concentrate on the road and where you are going, always!


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have found that if someone tailgates me or somehow tries to pressure me to go fast or do something, that I feel best just ignoring them totally, sometimes even turning my mirrors so I don't see their ugly faces, and just drive along. There is never a payoff or any benefit whatsoever for going faster when someone pushes, the person behind you will just stay on you and you will feel used and disrespected even more.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Tonight I was happy driving home. I was about a mile from my home, in a rural area, when a sedan is gaining at a fast pace behind me, and I knew he was going to be sitting on my bumper. What kills me is the fact I was doing 40 in a 30 (it's a straight, no residents, stretch of road on cops are ever on and everyone does 35-40 on it) and yet this #@ckhead had to tail me...apparently wanting to do 50 on a 30. So I pulled over and immediately got on his bumper with my high beams on because I can't stand injustice--people who don't understand how to drive with courtesy. Why do you feel the need to pressure the driver in front of you when they are going PLENTY FAST?! It drives me out of my mind. I like to drive over the speed limit, a lot of us do, but don't ride my bumper when I'm doing 10 over the speed limit. Show so goddamn restraint. Of course, this whole story has a point. Now I feel awful, and regretful, and I wish I had just driven that final mile home with this stupid kid on my bumper instead of making a big scene out of it. I understand the rules of the road, the right-of-ways, and I always feel good about drivers working together to respect each other--so naturally it goes up me sideways when someone feels they can just take advantage of the road anyway that suits them. The problem is--this will never stop. There will always be some dumb kid that thinks they're driving fine no matter the circumstances, even though they're antagonizing everyone else that shares the road. This is the second time in a year someone has tailed me when I was going well above the speed limit and I have pulled over to jump on their bumper to "teach them a lesson" as to what it's like to be pursued so closely. That is it. I've quit a lot of vices in my life, cigarettes and other things and this is now another. I'm not an angry person, I just wholeheartedly believe in what's fair is fair. But no more. You cannot teach a lesson by intimidating someone, you can only teach them to retaliate. While I don't agree anger is simply our own problem, because people do instigate us with no regard or respect for fairness--it is up to us to do justice for our own livelihood and do the right thing to not escalate something so trivial.

    • JakeAuto profile image


      9 years ago from Calif.

      One specific case:

      There's no need to defend the few car lengths of open space ahead of you on the freeway, leave the recommended 2+ second interval between you and the car ahead of you, if someone pulls into this margin, be charitable and drop back again to a safe distance, you will loose 2 seconds (your not in a stick car race)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Good and very useful and the advices are simple to apply.


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