We’ve all been there — you’re driving and another driver does something to make you mad, so you make this serious mistake:
You throw them a single-finger salute and suddenly it gets personal.
Now, you’re engaged in Mad Max style combat with a stranger… and the “expert” advice people give you to prevent that from happening is usually WRONG.
Follow that wrong advice, and you’ll be in just as much danger as if you did what a lunatic named “Popper” did while road-raging in Florida.
That’s why we need to talk about…
3 Pieces Of Terrible “Road Rage” Advice (And How To Fix Them)
I’m not joking when I tell you that his name is “Eric Popper” and he’s now a criminal for firing a DOZEN rounds in heavy traffic.
It happened at the end of the summer in 2021, in Florida, when Popper and another tailgating driver started throwing “excited hand gestures” at each other.
Popper got so mad that when the other driver tried to pass him on the right, he pulled his gun and pointed it…
…And when the equally nuts other driver threw a water bottle out his window at Popper’s car, Popper went berserk.
Hs own dash cam caught him firing multiple rounds through his own windshield.
He thought the other driver was shooting at him!
I think all of us know that pointing guns at other drivers, and blowing through a magazine (and your insurance premium) from inside your own car over getting tail-gated or cut off is a bad idea.
But the thing is, most pieces of “anti-road rage advice” you get from conventional experts is so wrong that it won’t help you in a situation like this.
In fact, there are 3 pieces of bad road rage advice that I want to touch on:
1. Stop At A Police Station
The “experts” will tell you that if you get into a road-rage altercation, you should pull into a police station, I guess the idea being that the other driver will be less likely to start something if there are LEOs present.
Well, that’s fine… but just try to find a police station when you’re, say, commuting on the highway, or driving somewhere unfamiliar.
It’s not like you’ll be able to fool around with your GPS if the other guy is getting super aggressive with you, right?
How to fix it: What you need is police help, so use the simplest hands-free option available to you: call 911.
Tell them your approximate location and ask for assistance… and they may be able to send someone right to you.
The other advantage of this is it creates a “paper” trail that establishes you as the victim, not the aggressor.
2. Pull Over And Don’t Play Their Game
Refusing to play the road rage game is a great idea, and a lot of experts will tell you just to pull over and not engage with the other guy.
Well, if you pull over anywhere HE can pull over, your problem just got WORSE, because it could become a physical altercation.
How to fix it: Pulling over is fine, but you can’t do it anywhere isolated that gives your attacker a “free run” at you.
Look for places where there are witnesses, like roadside rest stops, and start saying loudly out your window, “Help, this man is following me, call the police!”
It wouldn’t hurt to remember Rule 1 and dial 911 yourself, too, especially if the other driver can hear you on your hands-free phone with the cops.
3. Try To Remember It Isn’t Personal
Without a doubt, the WORST piece of advice for avoiding road rage is to remind yourself that “it isn’t personal” so you don’t get mad behind the wheel.
I mean, that’s great for you… but if the OTHER guy thinks it’s personal, he’s not going to care that you’re maintaining your Zen calm behind the wheel, and your “enhanced calm” might lead you to miss signs of aggression in other drivers.
How to fix it: While you’re remembering that it isn’t personal, also remind yourself that other people can lose their tempers, sometimes with no good reason, and you’ve got to stay aware, alert, and defensive at all times in case somebody (like Eric Popper) decides to start throwing lead.
Maintaining THAT mindset, a mindset of alertness, is much better than just staying calm and care-free like you’re everybody’s friend.
Remember, when you’re on the road, there’s no excuse for not keeping your mind alert and your wits about you.
You don’t have to drive down the road in a cold sweat of constant fear… but you can’t afford to be complacent, either.
Drive safe out there!