Have you ever sat in a traffic queue that was going nowhere when someone leaned on their horn to vent their frustration? Or had someone flip you the bird or shout something rude as they passed you?
Anger is common among drivers, and while shouting at someone who cannot hear you because your window and theirs are closed may seem harmless or even laughable, drivers who struggle to control their anger are more likely to crash.
Staying in control of your emotions is crucial to staying in control of your vehicle
Drivers must make quick, clear-headed decisions to stay safe. Anyone sitting in a cloud of anger will be less able to do that. Here is why:
- They think about whatever it is that made them angry rather than focusing on the road
- They may become more aggressive in their driving behavior, speeding up, braking hard or suddenly switching lanes
- They may intentionally try to harm someone
How can you protect yourself from the risk of angry drivers?
You cannot control what is happening inside other people’s heads. While certain times of day and specific days of the year with high traffic volumes are likely to have more bad-tempered drivers, people’s anger often has nothing to do with the conditions. People often bring their anger from home, work or the shopping queue into their cars.
Avoid reacting if anyone directs their anger at you to reduce the chance they become more aggressive toward you. Letting them pass or dropping back to get away from them is also wise.
If you were injured in a vehicle crash because another driver failed to control their anger, seek legal help to hold them responsible for the compensation you will need.