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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Injury Prevention - Road Safety
- Aggressive Driving & Road Rage

Even in smaller cities and towns like those found in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Counties traffic can seem unbearable, and it seems people are becoming less tolerant as time goes on. Drivers can become frustrated and upset to the point where they may behave in uncharacteristic ways. Aggressive driving behaviours can range from abusive gestures, name-calling and reckless driving to acts of physical violence towards other drivers.

Here are some tips to avoid road conflicts:

  • Plan your route in advance. Some of the most erratic and inconsiderate driving occurs when motorist are lost;

  • Make a conscious decision not to let your problems affect your driving;

  • Deal with stress by getting fresh air and breathing deeply and slowly or listening to relaxing music;

  • Avoid long drives if you can. If you take a long trip, stop every few hours for a rest. Before and during a long drive, avoid heavy meals which tend to make a person lethargic;

  • Drive in a courteous and considerate manner. Give way at busy intersections and where traffic lanes merge;

  • Don't compete or retaliate. If someone's driving annoys you, don't try to "educate him or her". Leave traffic enforcement to the police.

  • Avoid honking your horn unless absolutely necessary and, if you must, tap on it lightly;

  • Say "sorry" if you make a mistake. An apology can reduce the risk of conflict;

  • If you are being physically threatened, stay in your car and lock the doors. If you have a cell phone call the police. Use your horn and lights to attract attention;

  • If you think you are being followed, do not drive home. Go to a police station or a busy public place;

  • Don't carry a defensive weapon; it might provoke a potential assailant.

(Taken from Transport Canada, 2001)



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