Commercial Truck Driving – Dealing With Road Rage

Professional C.D.L. Drivers have seen it all. Other drivers who believe truckers are taking up too much space on the road, or are holding them back from reaching their destination are prime candidates for road rage. Sooner or later you will encounter a driver who just snaps and lurches into a fit of road rage. It is a serious matter which can easily escalate to be a life threatening situation.

Most grievances from Professional C.D.L. drivers come from the fact that drivers of smaller vehicles have little idea of what it takes to keep a large commercial vehicle operating safely on the roads. Although conditions are different, there are still legitimate issues that need to be recognized whether you are driving your rig on the open road or in cities.

C.D.L. drivers complain frequently about how drivers of smaller vehicles have a habit of rushing in front of them, leaving very little room for braking and stopping a large commercial vehicle in an emergency situation.

Another genuine concern for truckers is when small vehicles attempt to pass on the inside when a long vehicle is making a turn. These are just two examples of how drivers of smaller vehicles can get themselves into an unsafe position, and then blame the trucker by letting loose with an outburst of road rage.

Road Rage is a recognized tirade when a driver loses control of their emotions and engages in hurling verbal abuse or physical violence against another driver. A road rage incident can spiral rapidly out of control, so professional C.D.L. drivers need to be aware that this may occur at any time, through no fault of their own.

It can be a very serious situation indeed which has the potential to endanger a truckers life, but usually it will just leave you irritated and confused as to why it happened in the first place.

Some Professional C.D.L. Drivers believe that road rage is born of ignorance, and this outlook has substantial merit. Drivers of smaller vehicles simply have no appreciation or consideration of the skills that are essential to keep a heavy vehicle on the road safely. When you think about it – how would they know? They have never had the training.

The only solution to solving road rage is for the driver to get their out of control emotions, under control. As a professional driver there is a lot you can do to diffuse road rage and here are a few tips:

* Remain calm at all times and do not retaliate.
* Ignore the verbal abuse and gesturing as much as you possibly can.
* Understand that the road ragers emotions are out of control and they need time to calm down.
* If the road rager comes close, remain calm and say ‘I understand your frustration, how can I help you’.

There are 4 different stages to road rage:

1. Using gestures or cursing the other driver.
2. Repetitive exchanges and unreasonable thinking.
3. Harassment of other road users with flashing of lights, stopping dangerously in front of the other vehicle without adequate time to stop safely, tailgating the other vehicle, and trying to nudge the other vehicle sideways off the road.
4. The most extreme stage of road rage involves causing injury to the other driver or assault with a motor vehicle or with a weapon.

Some professional CDL Drivers often use the following techniques to overcome their own annoyance with road rage perpetrators.

* Listen to soothing music.
* Smile at everyone.
* Understand the other driver is very stressed and that perhaps they have just lost a loved one.
* Pray out loud.
* Let them pass and be on their way.
* Laugh it off by thinking of something funny.
* Focus on all the good things that a professional C.D.L. driving position brings.

Professional C.D.L. drivers aim to diffuse road rage situations with a calm head on their shoulders so that they are able to continue work without major incident or injury and inconvenience to themselves, their company and other drivers.