Driving on busy, crowded roadways can be stressful. But aggressive driving is never the answer. The California Department of Motor Vehicles defines aggressive driving as “the act of operating a motor vehicle in a selfish, bold or pushy manner, without regard for the rights or safety of others.” Here, CDMV offers tips on how to avoid it:
- If you’re feeling stressed or irritated before heading out, try to relax first. “Easy listening” music may help you calm down.
- Give the roadway your full attention, and don’t let yourself be distracted by eating or grooming. Never talk on a cellphone while driving.
- Try to give other motorists the benefit of the doubt.
- Refrain from driving slowly in the left lane.
- Remember that how another person is driving has nothing to do with you. Don’t take other people’s behaviors personally.
- Give yourself plenty of time for traveling and factor in delays, such as bad weather, traffic or road construction.
- Know that you may be delayed. Take a deep breath and accept it.
- Slow down as conditions warrant, and keep a safe following distance.
- Never make gestures with your hands – keep them on the wheel. “Avoid making any gestures that might anger another driver, even seemingly harmless expressions of irritation like shaking your head,” CDMV states.
- If another driver is determined to get in front of you, let him or her. This response soon will become easy for you and you won’t be as offended by the actions of others.
If you are confronted by an aggressive driver, make every reasonable attempt to get out of the person’s way. Never challenge the other driver by speeding up or attempting to block the person’s vehicle. Refrain from making eye contact and ignore any gestures the driver may make.
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