by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Tips for Avoiding Aggressive Drivers While You're on the Road

Guest Article by Jay Pilsen*

The best way to avoid an aggressive driver while you are on the road is for you to not become an aggressive driver.

Remain Calm
It is never going to make something right by doing another wrong. When you are behind the wheel of a car with an aggressive driver, the best thing to do is remain in control and be calm. By doing what the aggressive driver is doing, you will only make them madder and circumstances can escalate into something much worse.

Three Second Rule
When you do come across an aggressive driver, you will only get them angrier if you get behind them too closely and follow them. Always try to keep a three second time period between yourself and the aggressive driver. Now, if the aggressive driver seems to be tailing you, don’t slam on the brakes. That will further anger the aggressive driver. What you need to do is turn on your signal and pull over and let the driver pass. The bottom line is that you want to be safe. Keeping your head cool and letting them go by is the best idea.

Driving Intentions
Always be sure when driving that you have your driving intentions well clarified. Always use your turn signals and brake lights. Make sure drivers around you know what you’re getting ready to do. What makes a driver hot and angry is when another driver does something on the road suddenly that would cause too much surprise and distress.

Benefit of Doubt
Always give the other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Another driver may be driving fast or weaving in and out of traffic because of an emergency situation. The driver could be a surgeon, volunteer fireman or an undercover detective. We never know what the driver’s circumstances are so we have to assume they know what they are doing and let them move past us.

Competitive Attitude
The last thing you want to do is have an aggressive and competitive attitude when driving down the road. Try to always be the one who is the courteous driver. Yield when you are supposed to yield and use your blinker even though you don’t think you have to. People have a lot more respect for a driver who is courteous. As hard as it may be try to follow the courtesy rule as opposed to the right of way rule. Let a troublesome vehicles pass you by and get ahead of you instead of letting them be a threat to you.

If someone puts themselves in the position to have a threatening attitude with you while driving, try your best to not reciprocate that feeling. Don’t try to act like you don’t notice it or act like you don’t care. That will just engage that driver more to be threatening towards you. In many cases, a nice apology and having a pleasant face will help calm the circumstances down. If you can’t do that, keep quiet to be safe.

Overall, if you have tried these tips to get rid of the aggressive driver and they fail, call someone for help. Go to a more crowded area and wait for help to arrive. Never let an angry driver follow you to your home.


* Jay Pilsen writes about safety, personal finance & more at

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