We’ve all been through it: You are peacefully driving along the interstate when a driver either unintentionally or maliciously cuts you off. Whether you are the culprit or the victim, cases of road rage in reaction to this scenario decrease the safety of everyone traveling on the highway. For those in the trucking industry, it is incredibly important to remain cool in these cases. There are probably many miles left to travel, and one incident shouldn’t determine your mood for the rest of your travels.
Here are a few tips to deal with road rage (yours specifically and that of others):
1) Mentally Prepare. Every driver you encounter on the road is not going to be perfect. Some are distracted, others are new, and almost everyone is dealing with some sort of personal problem. If you get into your truck expecting to encounter these types, then it will be easier to keep your cool. If you don’t run into any problems, then you are left feeling pleasantly surprised!
2) Avoid the Crowd. Always remember not to tailgate the vehicles in front of you. Quick braking or unexpected wildlife can quickly turn tailgating into a disaster. It can also cause nervousness on the part of the other driver, or anger, and tempt them to slam on the brakes just for the fun of it.
3) Patience is a Virtue. Though it may seem like someone cut you off on purpose or chose to drive way below the speed limit, other drivers are not out to get you. In the end, everyone has the same goal of getting to their destination safely. Time is a secondary concern when it comes to arriving versus not arriving at all.
Sometimes, you may find yourself on the receiving end of road rage. This can be frustrating as it wastes time, it’s dangerous, and it challenges one’s ability to focus on safe driving. The best response is to avoid confrontation. Do not respond to cursing or yelling, or roll down your window if another driver decides to have words with you. The best choice is to maintain a level head and leave the road rage behind.
If a person will not leave you alone, or follows your vehicle after you have left the initial scene, do not hesitate to contact authorities. If the encounter seems serious enough, you have the right to file a police report. Try to jot down the license plate number as well as make and model of the vehicle if this seems like the course you will need to follow.
Not every situation deserves a reaction. We all have bad days, and we fall on both sides of the road rage spectrum. Drive safely and courteously, and you will arrive on time with your load. Safety is one of the primary values of Bay & Bay Transportation and we reward drivers that are committed to it. If you would like to apply for one of our OTR truck driver jobs, or check out our owner-operator opportunities, please visit our Careers page.