In a study conducted by a Connecticut auto club, commuters in 25 prominent U.S. metropolitan areas recorded occurrences of road rage in their city. This includes tailgating, profanity, and other aggravating tendencies. Out of 25 cities, Chicago ranked seventh with the worst road rage incidents.
Road Rage Reaction as a Passenger
According to the US Department of Transportation, if you commute to and from work every day, you most likely spend a minimum of one hour each day in a vehicle. This amount of time raises the likelihood of you to experience road rage, even as a passenger.
A mildly upset cab driver because of justifiable circumstances, like a motorist who carelessly cuts him off, is easy to pacify. The hard part is when you encounter a taxi service and the driver who takes personal offense over every little thing on the road. So, as a passenger, what is the proper way to respond when your cab driver is well into a full-blown road rage? Here are two helpful tips:
- Stay calm and sharp.
In actuality, when your taxi driver experiences the rage, there isn’t a great deal you can do. When he turns to you and howls, “Can you believe that? Did you see what happened? Where did that idiot learn to drive?” there is very little that you can say since the questions are rhetorical. Moreover, you can’t put a stop to the driver’s genuine feelings. His knee-jerk reaction is something you can’t prevent whether you are in agreement with him or not. In fact, either response from you can potentially make his feelings worse. If you agree with him, you validate his reaction. If not, you can frustrate him more that can make a bad situation worse. What you can do is to stay calm, vigilant and sharp. Don’t make further comments that will push him over the edge.
2. Get the driver’s attention off the road.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you avert his attention so much that he can’t properly drive anymore. Divert his attention by talking to him. If you already have an ongoing conversation that gets off track due to the road rage, the most sensible thing to do is maneuver the conversation back to the original topic. If you haven’t chatted with him yet, this is the perfect time to start a conversation. Choose a mundane topic, something that can’t get him more excited or fired up. You can also pick a topic that calls for a good amount of thought to keep the conversation going. For instance, talk about kids or mutual hobbies. Make sure to bring up topics that the driver can relate to.
If the driver is mildly upset, it’ll be an easy task to divert his attention. However, if he’s incredibly mad or out of line, it’s wiser, for your own safety, to ask him to stop so you can get out of the car. Lastly, make sure to report the incident to the cab service company.