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What do I do if I encounter an aggressive driver?

Driving around the Irvine area, you are probably used to seeing motorists who are impatient and in a rush to get to their destinations. What you might not realize is that some of these individuals are aggressive motorists. Aggression in motorists is very common. It is also very dangerous. 

Many fatal car accidents occur because of misplaced aggression behind the steering wheel. Take some time to learn how to deal with aggressive motorists. 

Stay calm and operate your vehicle responsibly 

Aggression on the road is contagious. Sometimes all it takes is a single mistake from one driver to cause aggression in another. Stay calm and alert when you are in the driver’s seat. Pay attention to your surroundings and try to avoid making driving errors, such as not using your car’s signals to alert others when you want to change lanes and ignoring the right of way.

Keep in mind some motorists are upset about things that do not involve driving and may be looking for someone to target. Using the right driving maneuvers and following the traffic laws can help minimize the chances of you becoming a target and involved in motor vehicle collisions

Avoid eye contact and do not engage 

If you happen to encounter an aggressive motorist, do not look at their eyes. Do not respond if they make obscene gestures or yell insults at you. Engaging them will only make them angrier and can lead to a collision or physical altercation. Steer your vehicle clear of theirs. You should consider changing your route so you are no longer in the same areas as the raging driver. 

Sometimes road raging drivers may not back down or ignore you. They may attempt to follow you so they can attack. If an aggressive driver appears to be following you, drive to the nearest police station, hospital or public place. Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up. Call the police for help to report the situation. Be sure to give as many details of the perpetrator’s vehicle and plate information. 

Sometimes it is not possible to stay away from aggressive drivers. You can minimize the chances of direct interaction with them. Practice good driving etiquette and stay calm when you drive to encourage other motorists to do the same.