Aggressive drivers are known to cause one third of all vehicle crashes. Be it overconfidence, lack of attention or distraction, aggressive drivers are a danger not just to those travelling with them but to others on the road as well. The best way to beat them is by going on the defence. This makes you more alert, allows you to keep your calm and lower your risks of an accident.
How do you spot an aggressive driver? Look out for the ones who are speeding, changing lanes without timely indications, braking suddenly, stopping too close, making sudden turns without warning, jumping lights or trying to overtake all cars on the road without observing caution.
Many aggressive drivers are distracted drivers. You will find them talking on the phone as they drive, checking messages, intoxicated or listening to loud music as they speed without respecting limit warnings. It’s hard to get them to listen to you but a good way to stay safe is by practicing defensive driving skills. Check out these tips to learn how.
How to Drive Defensively
Stay Alert: Vigilance goes a long way in keeping you safe. To be vigilant on the road, you need to make sure you are well rested and in a calm state of mind before you sit behind the wheel. Try to take your mind off the distractions at work or home and focus on the road ahead. Sit straight, have your seatbelt fastened securely, and adjust the mirror. Watch out for traffic signals, road signs, the cars around you, and the voice of the GPS monitor guiding you. The last is crucial. If you lose focus, even momentarily, and miss road instructions, sudden turns can throw you off and cause aggression in others.
Overconfidence: Aggressive drivers are not always inexperienced youngsters. More often than not, they are well-experienced drivers who tend to be impatient to reach their destination and overconfident about their driving skills. Remind yourself to be patient and focus on following traffic rules every time you set out on the road.
Never drink and drive: It is common knowledge to refrain from alcohol and over-the-counter drugs before driving. It impairs your judgement and lessens self-control.
Consider safety first: As a defensive driver, be courteous at all times. Give pedestrians right of way. Keep an eye on bicycles and motorbikes. Wait for wild animals to cross the road. Pull over and rest on long road trips if you feel exhausted. Keep a hot or cold beverage with you in the car to keep you hydrated; a dehydrated body causes exhaustion and aggression.
Maintain Distance: One of the best ways to avoid a collision is to keep a considerable distance from cars around you. Follow the 3-4 second rule. If it rains or snows, increase the distance by a few additional seconds. Follow the same rules for nighttime driving.
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