Dealing with road rage

We’re all guilty of a bit of road rage from time to time. Shouting at the road, hands up in the air, and perhaps a few profanities thrown in there for good measure too. Negligent or erratic drivers can leave us feeling a little heated, but over time and as we gain experience, we learn to anticipate other drivers’ actions and develop approaches to dealing with difficult situations on the road. This is especially true for professional drivers, who can spend almost 34% of their week on the road.


Managing your emotions in tense situations is one thing, but how can we deal with bursts of road rage from other road users? Although the actions of others are not our responsibility, their actions can impact us, so it’s essential to know how to manage any challenging or volatile situations that may occur. 


This blog will discuss what situations can provoke road rage and how to deal with aggressive drivers while keeping cool in tricky situations so that you can stay safe behind the wheel.


Causes of road rage


Heavy traffic

If you’re an HGV driver, you’ll know first-hand that heavy traffic can irritate anyone. From moving along slowly to being gridlocked, it’s one of the most irritating aspects of the job.


Running late

When you’re running late, it can often feel like the universe is working against you, from hitting every red light or getting caught in slow-moving traffic on the route to your destination. It can make you feel impatient, and impatient drivers are more likely to drive carelessly out of frustration and annoyance. 


Distracted while driving

From making a call to having an upset child in the backseat, several things can distract us while driving. Sometimes whatever is distracting us can cause us to feel stressed, which can result in making dangerous mistakes on the road. In addition, feeling stressed out can result in anger and occasionally that anger will be directed towards someone else. 



Some drivers can drive as though they’re “above the law” and can do as they please without consideration for other road users. This arrogant attitude can cause drivers to make unsafe decisions, including speeding, running through red lights, pulling out on other drivers and other traffic violations. In addition, when they are forced to slow down or obey the rules, it can trigger explosive road rage in this type of driver. For example, if they want to overtake while driving along a dual carriageway but another driver is ahead of them and driving within the speed limit, they have no choice but to slow down.


Recognising a driver with road rage


Drivers who are experiencing road rage can exert aggressive driving behaviours. It’s essential to recognise the indications that a road user is driving aggressively so that you can keep yourself safe. Signs of an aggressive driver can include:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Shouting at other drivers
  • Making crude or insulting hand gestures
  • Intentionally ignoring traffic control equipment

Undisciplined road rage can exceed aggressive driving. The person exhibiting this behaviour may proceed to carry out acts of violence or assault. This threatening and alarming behaviour can be intimidating and harmful to other drivers.

Physical violence and threats of physical violence due to something that occurred while driving is assault and should be reported to the police.


How to deal with an aggressive driver


When confronted with an aggressive driver or someone experiencing road rage, sometimes refraining from reacting or responding at all is the best approach towards the situation. For example, you may decide to ignore the driver, not making eye contact and refusing to communicate with them.


If you anticipate that another driver is experiencing road rage or appears to be driving in an aggressive manner, for example, moving dangerously close behind you, it may be best to find a safe location to pull over and allow them to pass you before continuing your journey, avoiding a potential situation altogether.


If you experience an intimidating situation, whether you’ve been shouted at or beeped at, it’s vital not to let it impact your driving. If you feel distressed, anxious, or agitated, find a safe location to park and take some time to calm down and refocus before you continue driving. 


If you feel physically threatened by the other driver, pull into a safe place, remain inside your vehicle with locked doors, and call the police. Again, it would be beneficial to note the other driver’s licence plate and a description of their vehicle.


Eight tips for staying calm in challenging situations


  • Be vigilant of your surroundings
  • Anticipate other drivers’ actions
  • Be ready to handle unexpected situations
  • Remember that you are not responsible for their actions
  • Focus on maintaining your own excellent driving skills (you are the professional)
  • Stop and take time to calm down if you feel overwhelmed by a situation
  • Listen to some music or a podcast to keep your mind occupied
  • Your safety is a priority. Contact the police if a situation escalates


Professional drivers


As professional drivers, you are instrumental to the UK’s logistics and supply chain industry, so you must approach challenging situations rationally and keep yourself safe.

If you need any advice or support in dealing with problematic drivers or incidents that have occurred while you’re on the road, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at, and we will be happy to help you.