How to Deal with Road Rage

Road rage has become a prevalent problem in Albuquerque, with several troubling incidents making their way to the news in recent years. Road rage can range from the minor to the extreme, and include yelling, speeding, cursing, cutting someone off, tailgating, and rude hand gestures. These actions are often typically met with equal or greater consequences. Almost everyone has been a victim or a perpetrator of these types of behaviors, and might even encounter it on a day-to-day basis, but it’s never too late to recognize and change your behavior.

No matter if you’re the initiator or the reactor in a road rage situation, there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of yourself and those around you getting hurt. Road rage situations can escalate quickly, and in some severe cases result in a car accident or physical assault. If you’re feeling like you’re falling victim to someone else’s road rage, it is always important to be the bigger person and not react—even if it’s difficult! No matter the circumstances, following these tips can help you stay safe and avoid progressing an already dangerous situation into something life-threatening:

  • Take a deep breath: If you ever find yourself starting to get agitated from a driver that is either tailgating you, yelling/honking, or cutting you off, the most important and easiest thing you can do is to take a deep breath and continue to follow the rules of the road. Breathe in slowly for six seconds, hold your breath for four, then breathe out for another six seconds. This breathing technique can help you calm down and look past the aggressive situation.
  • Avoid reacting: Pay no mind to whatever the driver is doing. Whatever it is, they’re trying to get a reaction out of you and push you to your limit. If you react, they’ll react even more. Using breathing techniques or simply reminding yourself about the innocent people around you or inside your own vehicle that may be at risk if you do react, can prevent you from taking any further actions against the aggressive driver and they’ll move on. This can be a big step in how far things go between two drivers.
  • Get out of the way: If a car is weaving in and out of lanes quickly or riding your bumper, the likelihood of a serious car accident occurring increases. Rather than “brake-checking”—purposefully stopping short to alert the other driver—or pulling to the side to confront them, it’s wise just to get out of the way and let them do their thing, so you and those around you won’t be harmed if the aggressive driver chooses to act out.
  • Stay in your car and call 9-11: If things do progress and the road rage driver takes a more aggressive turn, no matter what you do, do not get out of the car. Things can escalate very quickly and you don’t want to provoke someone who is already agitated. Pull over, stay in the car, and call 9-11 as soon as possible. Get the details of their car, what they look like, and license plate if possible and report it to authorities. Even if they are long gone, it is best to get them off the road so they don’t harm anyone or themselves. 

If you see someone who is driving recklessly, use your street smarts and stay out of their way, rather than risking yours, or the lives of those around you. If you find yourself a victim in a road rage accident in Albuquerque, call the professionals at The Dinelli Law Firm to get rightful compensation!