Road rage. It can get the best of many of us. However, this is more dangerous when it happens to a semi truck driver.
In the United States, there are about 130,000 injuries per year because of truck accidents. Road rage is a big reason why this happens in the first place.
If you are someone that is facing a driver that looks like they have road rage, you may start to get paranoid. You may not know what to do.
Take a deep breath and relax. This guide will tell you what to do if you find yourself in that situation on the road.
Causes of Road Rage
Before we can tell you how to deal with road rage, you should be aware of what causes road rage. The main reason for this is that if you understand what the causes are in the first place, you will have a better understanding of the driver and what can help diffuse the situation.
Here are some of the main causes of road rage that you should be aware of.
One of the biggest reasons why truck drivers can get into road rage is because they are sleep deprived. When this happens, their body is not functioning at 100% and they will get more easily irritated.
There are about 100,000 truck crashes per year that are caused by sleep deprivation.
What does this mean? It means that there is a good chance that sleep deprivation is a motivating factor for road rage and a possible accident.
The best thing truck drivers can do is be aware of sleep deprivation when it happens. Sometimes, it is not always preventable due to their schedules. However, if it is preventable, they should try to get a good night’s sleep every night before having a long drive the next day.
Believe it or not, other cars are a large motivator for truck drivers to get into road rage. If you find yourself driving a car near a truck, you need to be aware that other cars like yours can be a factor for possible road rage.
The reason is that cars tend to cause a lot of the accidents that trucks get into. Cars are responsible for about 80% of all truck accidents.
Truck drivers are most likely well aware of this and may not feel the most comfortable sharing the road with smaller cars. Sometimes, other cars do not understand what goes into driving a truck either.
There are times when every person on the road experiences someone cutting them off in a tight spot. It is one thing to do this to other cars working with the same conditions. However, some cars take this a step further and do this to trucks.
Why is this a cardinal sin of the road? Well, because truck drivers have a much more lethal vehicles and it takes much longer for them to come to a complete stop.
Let’s say a car and a semi truck are both driving 65 miles per hour. If a car wants to stop at that speed, it needs 316 feet. However, a semi truck needs 525 feet to come to a complete stop.
So, when another car takes away that available lane space to a truck, it forces them to have to make a very tight stop. On top of this, the damage could be lethal if they fail to make this stop, considering it weighs 76,000 more tons.
Knowing all of this, it could make a truck driver snap if a car does this to them on the road.
Dealing With Road Rage
Now that you know a couple of the ways that truck drivers are motivated to cause road rage, it is time to find out how to deal with it if you encounter it. These are a few ways that you can divert a truck driver that you think is performing road rage.
The easiest way to get a truck driver off of your back is to change lanes. This is not much different than when you see someone driving very fast behind you and you move over to let them pass.
You do not want any problems and the driver behind you is clearly driving more aggressively. So, changing lanes is the best chance that you have at ending your encounter with someone that has road rage as fast as possible.
This does two things. You are looking out for your own safety and peace of mind. On top of this, you are respecting what the truck driver wishes to do and you are letting them pass.
Doing this allows them to let the truck go and not have to deal with it on the road anymore.
Avoid Eye Contact
If changing lanes is not an option, then your next best bet is to avoid any eye contact with your truck driver. This lets the truck driver know that you are not engaging with the behavior and you are avoiding giving the truck driver any reason to get more aggressive with you.
Not being able to change lanes can happen for two reasons. The first is obviously if it is only a one-lane road in each direction. The second reason is if there is too much traffic in the other lanes on a road.
When either one of these things happens, you are pretty much stuck with the truck until you can make it to a clearer road. This can be a tense situation but it is important not to panic.
Just go about your business and do not give the truck driver any reason to notice you more than they already have.
One thing that you may be tempted to do if you cannot get out of the way is to pull over. This is something that you should absolutely avoid.
If a driver’s road rage is targeted toward you, this could do a few things. The first thing is that you could risk having something happen to you on the side of the road. This is because there is a chance that a truck driver will pull over on the road behind you and cause a scene there.
The second thing that this can do is give the truck driver an unintended aggression signal. If that truck driver already thinks you are irritated with them, pulling over may indicate to them that you want to exchange words or fight on the side of the road.
Do not give them any ideas and try to keep those thoughts out of their head. Instead, just keep driving until you can do one of the above.
As a Passenger
Something else that you may not have thought of is encountering road rage as a passenger. You may very well be sitting next to the person that is causing the road rage that you are concerned about in the first place.
In this situation, the roles change, and you have to act like a direct diffuser. One thing you can do is try laughing it off and making a joke about one of the other cars on the road. If this works, this should help lighten the mood and get their attention back on the road.
If the driver is still angry, it could be time to approach this more directly. Encourage the truck driver to take deep breaths and to try and relax. This can help them control themselves from having an impulse reaction.
In this situation, it could be ideal to buy some time to allow a driver to calm down and get their attention back where it needs to be. If that does not work, you can try getting to their empathetic side and directly telling them that you are concerned about the way that they are driving.
This might get them to snap out of it, knowing that if there is a crash or an incident, there is a good chance that you are involved too.
Protect Against Semi Truck Incidents
Once in a while, you may encounter a semi truck driver that is experiencing road rage. If you do this, you need to think about the potential causes and then take the suggestions above accordingly.
What happens if you end up in an accident because of road rage? You can always hire an attorney to get the compensation attorney you deserve.
Are you the victim of a road rage accident in the Houston, Texas area? Message us today to see what we can do for you.