A recent survey by AAA found that more than 50% of all car accidents that end in a fatality are the result of road rage. Perhaps even more startling are the following statistics compiled by DriversEd.com:
- 53% of drivers think speeding is normal
- 50% of drivers who experience road ragers say they respond aggressively
- 2% of road ragers seek revenge
- 37% of road rage incidents involve firearms
It’s clear that road rage is a serious problem. And in some cases, it can even be deadly.
As a truck driver, you spend 40-plus hours a week behind the wheel. As a result, you’re more likely than the average driver to encounter your fair share of road ragers. Considering a semi is much larger than many of the other cars on the road, it would be easy to retaliate by pushing someone’s buttons. Though that might seem like a good idea in the heat of the moment, it could result in an accident, injury or death.
To help you stay safe on the road, here are a few recommendations for dealing with road rage:
1.) Focus on the road and stay calm. Driving a truck isn’t easy. The hours are long, the terrain varies greatly, and you have to make tight delivery deadlines. It’s normal to feel stressed out or anxious, but don’t let these emotions affect your actions behind the wheel. When driving through major metropolitan areas, expect delays like traffic, construction or accidents. Other drivers may honk at you, flip you off or ride your tail, but that’s their prerogative. Stick to the speed limit, breathe deeply, and if it helps, play some relaxing music.
2.) Let others pass you. We’ve all been in a situation where we were driving our rig up a mountain pass, only to look in the rearview mirror to see one (or multiple) cars closely riding the tailgate. Maybe they’re waving their fist out the window, laying on the horn, or dangerously swerving into the other lane to try and get around you. Instead of putting your foot on the gas and making a point, slow down, turn on your emergency lights, and pull over. It’s much better to let angry or irritated drivers pass you than it is to take a risk.
3.) Don’t hesitate to call the authorities. If you notice any aggressive or potentially intoxicated drivers while on the road, do everything you can to avoid them. Often, that means slowing down, pulling over or getting off at an exit. If possible, try to collect information that might be helpful to the authorities, such as the make, color and model of the vehicle as well as its license plate number.
How do you steer clear of road ragers when you’re behind the wheel of a truck? If you have any tips or recommendations, please visit our Facebook page and leave a comment.