If you've never been the target of road rage, count yourself lucky.
Ina PEMCO Poll, drivers reported witnessing an average of about nine aggressive acts in a month and, in a survey reported byWebMD, more than half of people said they've personally experienced a rager's ire.
So how can you keep the target off your back? Check out this video to make sure you don't recognize yourself in these top-six road rage triggers:
What drives a rager?
The typical road rager has acted out an average of 27 times, according to a study noted on WebMD. Psychologists point to a combination of anonymity (not seeing other drivers as people) and a sense of invincibility (being protected within their cars) as road rage underpinnings. Among people who have anger issues to begin with, overcrowded roads and even sleep deprivation can spin crankiness into a loss of control.
If another driver acts aggressively toward you, experts urge you to de-escalate the situation as quickly as you can:
- If you're being tailgated, change lanes to let the rager go by. That includes taking an exit or pulling to the side of the road, if necessary.
- On the freeway, you're better off behind ragers than in front or alongside. You're less vulnerable and can better see what they're doing.
- Don't return rude gestures, and minimize eye contact that ragers could interpret as you "accepting" their challenge.
- If a rager is following you, drive to a police station rather than your home.
Have a road rage story to share? Drop us a note at
Perspective. We'd love to know how you handled it, particularly what you did to stay safe.
NOTE: While we're experts in loss prevention and home/auto safety, we don't consider ourselves experts in traffic laws or their enforcement. Information shared here is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. If you have legal concerns, we urge you to contact a law enforcement source or attorney in your community.