CAN YOU SPOT AN AGGRESSIVE DRIVER?
Aggressive drivers frequently lose their cool behind the wheel, and put other cars and themselves at risk. Here are a few examples you may encounter on the road.
An aggressive driver is someone who:
- Breaks the speed limit
- Runs red lights
- Changes lanes and turns without signalling
- Honks the horn or flashes their head lights unnecessarily
- Increases their speed when others try to pass
- Makes rude gestures
- Follows the car in front too closely
- Fails to check their blind spots
- May have poor judgement because of alcohol or drugs
- Makes potentially dangerous U-turns
- Gets road rage
Unfortunately, there are many more ways to drive aggressively. And if you’re the victim of aggressive driving, it can not only be unsafe but a frightening experience. In fact, 80% of Europeans admit they have been afraid of another driver’s aggressive behaviour.1
8 DEFENSIVE DRIVING TIPS
A defensive driver doesn’t just concentrate on their own driving, they anticipate what other drivers might do.
Always signal before you manoeuvre, but be wary of other cars indicating. Just because the car in front is flashing left, doesn’t mean it will turn left. And, of course, cars frequently turn with no signal at all.
Keep a 2-second gap between you and the vehicle in front of you. To work out a 2-second gap, use landmarks like a road sign or parked car, and count 2 seconds from the point the car in front passes it. In wet weather, allow 4 seconds.2
Don’t block the fast lane or deliberately drive too slowly, as it could frustrate drivers behind you. And don’t keep changing lanes unnecessarily – it can cause accidents.
Be extra watchful in wet and cold weather. Different conditions can mean you may need to change the way you drive. But other drivers don’t always bother to adjust.
Don’t leave your headlights on high beam when other cars are approaching. And never use them to deliberately dazzle another driver.
Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver, never scream at them or make rude gestures. And lock your door if an angry driver stops, gets out and approaches you.
If you feel threatened or want to report an aggressive driver, pull over where it’s safe to do so and contact the police. Remember to give them as much information as possible, such as the other vehicle’s make and registration number.
Never match aggressive driving with your own aggression. Road rage or trying to ’get even’ with another driver can end in disaster.