Road safety charity the IAM offers weekly motoring tips from Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week he looks at how to avoid conflict on the road:
Most irritating manoeuvres made by other drivers are unintentional. Don’t take your frustration out by making offensive gestures, beeping your horn or flashing your lights.
Don’t compete or retaliate. If someone’s driving annoys you, don’t try to ‘educate’ them.
Be patient in traffic, and try not to push into traffic queues. If you signal in plenty of time, other drivers will usually let you in.
Courtesy costs nothing. Being polite can diffuse a situation if you have made a mistake.
Set an example to others. Give way at busy junctions or where traffic lanes merge. Wherever there are merging lanes, join in turn.
Avoid making eye contact in a confrontation – while a friendly wave could show you’ve made an honest mistake, you might appear to be challenging the other road user.
Don’t respond to somebody else’s bad behaviour by accelerating, braking or swerving suddenly. As well as winding up other drivers, you reduce your own car control.
We all make mistakes when we’re driving, so try and cut people some slack when they do so. Road rage doesn’t improve the situation, and puts you, your passengers, and other road users around you at risk.
The best thing is to stay calm and continue to drive sensibly so as not to make the situation any worse.”