HOUSTON (KIAH) While aggressive drivers are everywhere, the most dangerous road rage incidents happen when two or more drivers have aggressive responses to each other. Harris County Constable Precinct 4 is now offering tips to keep drivers safe and say getting cut off in traffic can quickly escalate to further aggression if you choose to honk or gesture at another driver. This, after Tuesday’s road rage incident involving a 9-year-old shot in the head Tuesday night.
Even if you’ve been subjected to rude or aggressive driving behaviors, it’s important that you don’t respond in kind. Think twice before laying on your horn or making a rude gesture, and you can avoid provoking road rage.
Use these tips to slow down, calm down, and stay safe even with aggressive drivers on the road:
- Practice polite driving habits: Avoid tailgating, cutting off other vehicles, speeding, weaving, leaving high beam headlights on, and erratic braking. Don’t drive in the left lane slower than the rest of traffic.
- Slow down: Simply let aggressive drivers go around you and typically, they will quickly be on their way.
- Get away from aggressive drivers: If you notice a driver with aggressive behavior, get some distance between you, whether you slow down and let them get ahead or change lanes so you’re not right next to each other.
- Don’t make rude gestures or yell at other drivers: Remember, you’re not the police, and it’s not your job to remind others how to drive, even if they’re doing a terrible job.
- Use your horn sparingly: Horns should primarily be used in emergency situations. Tap your horn lightly if you need to get a driver’s attention, and give drivers ahead of you at lights a few extra seconds of grace before honking to remind them to move through the intersection.
- Avoid making driving a competitive sport: You’re not a race car driver — you don’t have to win on the road. In fact, winning as a regular driver is simply getting home safe.
- Remember: getting home safely is more important than teaching another driver a lesson.
- Apologize if you’ve done something wrong: If you’ve accidentally cut off another driver, braked too fast, or made some other mistake that could be offensive, simply smile and wave as an apology. This will disarm and calm most drivers.
- Don’t drive under distress: Avoid driving if you’re angry, upset, or drowsy.
- Have reasonable expectations about your travel time: Know when you’ll be driving in traffic, give yourself plenty of time, and don’t set unreasonable expectations for how fast you’ll get to your destination.
- Call 911 if you’re under attack: If an aggressive driver attacks you, call 911 right away and stay on the phone with the dispatcher. Consider driving to the nearest police station, convenience store, or other public location with witnesses. Do not drive home.
Aggressive driving is a traffic violation, but escalated road rage is a criminal offense. Drive safe everyone!
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