We’ve all seen that driver. You know, the guy that fights to get in front of you only to be stopped at the same red light? What does he get out of that aggressive, impatient behavior? A mere 10 feet. Why risk so much for so little gain? What should you do when you are confronted with an impatient driver? We need to learn to recognize the patterns of aggressive driving behavior so we can protect ourselves.
Impatient and on the Move
It’s not difficult to spot an impatient driver. They weave in and out of lanes and traffic to gain inches of progress. They seem to have forgotten all the rules of the road, not to mention civility and common courtesy. So what are the five most common signs of an impatient driver?
1. Excessive honking
3. Revving engine while stopped
4. Cutting off other drivers
5. Yelling or cursing
So how do safe drivers protect themselves from an aggressive, impatient driver? Bear in mind that ego is almost always the biggest part of this equation. If you let your ego get the best of you, you will end up behaving just like them and could potentially cause an accident. No matter what you do, stay calm — you will not get them to change their behavior. An attempt in doing so will likely just add fuel to the fire.
The best way to handle a bad driver is to let them go by. Let them create as much space between you and themselves as possible. If they honk at you, cut you off, or curse at you, just keep looking ahead and maintain a safe distance and speed. They will move on to their next victim. You, on the other hand, will get to avoid a potentially dangerous confrontation. Causing problems with an angry individual carrying a 3500-pound weapon and potentially costly insurance claims has just very well slipped past you.
We have all heard the phrase, “defensive driving.” What does it actually mean and how does it protect you? When you are faced with traffic and high speeds, throw in the impatient drivers and you can have a volatile mixture. When you use defensive driving techniques, you protect yourself and those around you. Part of being a defensive driver is being able to recognize the impatient and/or aggressive drivers and knowing how to remove yourself from the situation. When you first spot an impatient driver, assess your situation. Are they tailgating you at a high speed? If so, change lanes.
Protecting yourself is really all you can hope to do when confronted by an impatient driver. Hopefully, a police officer will spot them and a nice financial penalty will cure them of their impatient driving behaviors.
Peter Wendt is a freelance writer living in Austin. He writes about his experiences in dealing with aggressive drivers. He believes that it is important to protect yourself against these drivers. If you have ever had legal issues involving driving, he recommends this company.