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Retaliated – Almost!

Q. When driving from one appointment to the next this week, I was traveling in the right hand lane and was passed by someone who used the “turning lane” on my right side to pass me. This person was behind me, and could easily see that traffic was moving slow. As always, I left enough space to see the rear tires of the person in front of me, and as I did this, the person passed me and slid into the minimal gap that I had left for a safety zone.

Being a safe driver has always been something that I take pride in, however, at that moment when this person made such a reckless move, it took every ounce of restraint not to pay him back in some form or fashion.

Ultimately I stayed in my lane and let the situation dissipate, but only because I couldn’t retaliate without hurting my own car.

My question, what can we do about the “bone-headed” people who are on the streets today that have no respect for fellow drivers?

Jeff H. – Sales and Technical Services

A. First of all Jeff, thanks for not retaliating against someone who definitely put himself/herself in a bad situation and brought you into the mix as well.

Honestly, if we would all admit to it, we have been provoked to a point of frustration when driving. Thankfully, more times than not, the response is similar to yours and people make the right decision not to have the issue escalate into an altercation.

To answer your question, what can we do about the “bone-headed” people who have no respect for other drivers, I will give you our own Driving Dynamics antidote:

“You can never control nor should you try to control the actions of other drivers. Your job is to stay alert and avoid problems created by aggressive drivers. Make sure you always keep an adequate safety zone around your vehicle so you have sufficient time and space to react when confronted with hazardous situations. Remember… whenever you encounter someone who is acting irresponsibly – showing little concern for their own safety and that of others – the only thing you can control is the way you react. Regardless of who is the aggressive driver, everyone is at risk. Stay focused on your responsibilities; don’t get pulled into a bad situation; and remain alert. Control your attitude and your drive so you can arrive at your destination incident free!”

This question was answered by:

Ben Langley is the Safety Editor for “The Driver Advantage™”. Ben is a passionate proponent for driver safety education, training and awareness. Continuously submerged in research targeting human behavior and driver safety; Ben initiates creative thinking that is evident in his writings. Ben also develops unique, exciting and results oriented driver safety programs and campaigns. His knowledge and common sense approach to driver safety is wrapped with authentic concern for people. Ben is also the co-found of Safety Wins, Inc. a 501©(3) non-profit organization. The Safety Wins concept of training fleet drivers at NASCAR Race Tracks throughout America was federally and privately funded. Today, Safety Wins, Inc focuses on Teen Driver Safety and continues to use the platform of motorsports to attract attention to their life saving driver safety message. Contact the author

- has written 58 posts on Driving Dynamics.

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