With schools now broken up for the summer, many families will be jumping into their vehicles for the long annual drive to their holiday destination, but even those on a staycation will be taking to the roads for day trips and excursions. This means more cars on the road and more chance of coming across that hapless driver who disrupts your journey. In London, the introduction of ‘Games Lanes’ means drivers will be compressed even closer to fellow road users than ever before.
This all amounts to one thing – ROAD RAGE. As we get up close and personal with fellow road users the chance of anti-social driving that makes our blood boil grows by the minute. And research, conducted by insurer Quotemehappy.com, shows that this is a problem UK motorists want tackling.
· 90% of UK motorists have experienced anti-social driving in the past month
· Yet people don’t think they are anti-social! 72% describe themselves as careful and considerate
· Our behaviour changes behind the wheel – we get more bold and assertive – backed up by independent expert Dr. Mark Sullman
· It has an impact on our wallets – anti-social driving has cost Brits on average £920
All this poses an interesting question – do we need increased punishment for anti-social driving, an ASBO for drivers? 60% of those surveyed seem to think so, calling for the introduction of an Anti-Social Driving Order (ASDO).
Whether or not you think you're a good driver, read through the top tips below and drive safely !
As part of Quotemehappy.com’s campaign to highlight anti-social driving, they have teamed up with Dr Sullman, senior lecturer at Cranfield University’s Driving Research Group, to recommend these 10 tips for helping drivers stay calm and collected on the roads:
1. Keep Calm and Carry On: Becoming angry and aggressive on the road will not make you feel any better and neither will it improve the behaviour of others on the road. Your priority should be to diffuse the situation and to carry on with your journey.
2. Keep your distance: Tailgating is obviously dangerous and is also a guaranteed way of winding up other drivers (one of the top 5 anger inducing situations), so be patient and remember the two second rule.
3. Everybody makes mistakes: If you make a mistake, acknowledge it immediately by raising your hand – hopefully this will pacify the other driver and make them realise it was a mistake.
4. You’re not the police: While you may be observing the speed limit and traffic rules, it is not up to you to make sure others do as well. If the driver behind you is hot on your heels, move out of the right lane and let them pass.
5. Avoid confrontation: If you find yourself becoming angry with another driver’s behaviour, avoid making eye contact and never make obscene gestures. Giving into anger will not resolve an irritating situation; it will only make matters worse.
6. Music: While driving, listen to music that makes you happy and relaxed, rather than pumped up and ready for action.
7. Be considerate and courteous: Treat others the way you would want to be treated. The best way of avoiding road rage is by being polite and courteous, even when others are not.
8. Remember: It’s not all about you! When a driver cuts you up or brakes erratically, it is easy to take it personally and to think their actions are aimed at you. Actually you are not the target of their bad behaviour, but simply an innocent bystander. Don’t take it personally, stay calm and carry on with your journey.
9. Time management: Time pressure creates stress and makes you more likely to become angry and aggressive on the road. Reduce your driving stress by planning ahead and allowing more than enough time to get wherever you are going.
10. Keep control: Remember that you cannot control the behaviour of the drivers around you, but you can control your reactions to them. Stay calm, drive safely and avoid anti-social driving!
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