If you Google “New Haven road rage,” you’ll discover page after page of incidents that range from threatening someone with a gun to hitting them with a car. Uncontrolled outbursts while someone is behind the wheel make driving stressful, dangerous and possibly even life threatening for others on the road.
It’s important to become aware of road rage and use these five tips to avoid getting into treacherous situations with other drivers.
- Always communicate. Using your turn signal when you change lanes is key to letting other drivers know what move you intend to make. Avoid misunderstandings by switching on your blinker.
- Don’t aggravate the situation. If a misunderstanding occurs, don’t escalate it by making gestures, laying on the horn or yelling at the other driver.
- Focus on staying calm. Use the time in your vehicle as a chance to unwind. Pick relaxing music, an audio book or deep breathing practices over stressful news stories and driving reports.
- Leave yourself enough time. People get anxious when they are running late. This can lead to driving too closely to other drivers or making rushed moves on the road. Bad choices are not only dangerous, but can trigger road rage in fellow drivers.
- Report what you see. If someone is making you feel unsafe, or if you do see someone who is behaving in a dangerous way behind the wheel, get help from the authorities.
These five tips for avoiding road rage are meant to give you tools to make safer decisions as a driver. Remember, we all need to work together to stay safe on New Haven’s roadways.