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How to handle tailgaters on the road

You may have learned the value of driving your car at speeds you can handle but how do you deal with a driver who offensively drives too close behind you? This article will give you some ways to practice simple, safe, and effective measures to get out of a potentially dangerous tailgating situation.

1- Remain calm!

Losing your cool means losing control, and losing control of your vehicle is the last thing you want to do. Deep breaths are a big help. Focus on your situation, and not on the radio or passengers or cell phones, (which you might want to avoid using while driving, especially in a tense situation).

2- Consider your own judgement of what is too close.

Drivers who are accustomed to driving in urban areas tend to be more comfortable driving closer to other cars that drivers from rural areas where traffic is generally less dense. It could be your judgement of the situation that is causing you stress rather than the reality of distance between cars and the other driver may not agree that they are tailgating. The important goal is to relief stress for both drivers since either driver is subject to “road rage” behavior based on their individual perception of the situation.

3- Always know your local driving laws.

Tailgating is generally against the law, as is causing an accident by driving into someone’s back bumper. While you don’t want to be in an accident, the aggressive driver behind you will most likely be at fault if he or she drives into you. Chances are they know the outcome if they hit you, and will want to avoid doing so.

4- Pull over and allow the vehicle behind you to pass, if it is safe to do so.

This is always the most rapid way of getting rid of a tailgater. If the car behind you is catching up, there’s a good chance the driver wants to go faster. If it’s safe to do so, let him/her.

– On narrower roads, use turnouts to allow others to pass when it is safe to do so. In many places, it is required that slower traffic use turnouts. Elsewhere, it is simply polite.

– On a winding road, do not speed up so drastically at passing lanes that others cannot pass. Many drivers go slowly and cautiously around curves and then get on a straightaway and feel that they have the space or visibility to dart ahead. Have the patience to let others past.

5- If at all possible, slow slightly and move away from the center of the road; allowing the tailgater to pass safely.

Normally a tailgater just wants to drive faster, so they will pass and leave you alone. If you know people want to pass you, try to stay out of the high speed (passing) lane(s).

6- Maintain a constant speed.

This allows the tailgating driver to predict when he can pass you. Avoid speeding up and slowing down to send him a message – this only increases his frustration level.

When in doubt, use your cruise control. This can help ensure that you remain at a constant speed of your choosing, and helps prevent accelerating when an agitating driver is trying to “push” you into speeding up. Plus, you are likely in a tense situation already. Using cruise control means you don’t have to concentrate on your speed as much, so you can concentrate more on removing yourself from this situation.

7- Above all else, do not be a source of the problem.

If you cannot switch lanes for any reason, various laws of physics are going to prevent the tailgater from driving through you. However, if you’re matching speed with a vehicle beside you, perhaps you should consider slowing down and switching lanes. Diffusing the dangerous situation is far more advantageous than bickering over the speed limit.

8- In multi-lane traffic, if you find yourself getting repeatedly tailgated, try driving a safe distance behind a truck.

Drivers approaching from behind will see the truck and get into another lane before ever getting close.

9- Communicate.

If the driver behind you flashes their high beams on and off, chances are they’re just asking you to move rather than being a jerk. Stickers or magnets indicating things like “student driver” or “sorry but i only do the speed limit” are very effective at communicating your driving preference. Turning on your hazard lights (flashers) lets other drivers know that you are experiencing technical difficulties which likely affect your speed, (remember to move out of the way as soon as is safely possible.) Waving offensive hand gestures on the other hand is most likely not going to be helpful, and will only elevate a bad situation. Raising your hands in a “helpless shrug” might seem to indicate that you can’t help the situation, but it may also come across as defiant. Plus you’re taking your hands off the wheel!

10- If you cannot remove yourself from the situation, prepare for annoying behavior from aggressive drivers.

They may turn on their high beams, blow their horn, shout insults and give unfriendly gestures. Flipping your rear view mirror to nighttime position will help if they turn on the high beams, and preparing yourself mentally for the possible onslaught of horns and cursing will help you deal with it.

11- If there are passengers in your car, try not to fluster them.

You may ask them to remain quiet while you deal with the offensive driver. They may try to offer advice, but ultimately distractions should be kept to a minimum.

12- Do not view the aggressor as an ‘adversary’, ‘opponent’ or ‘ignorant driver who needs taught a lesson’.

Avoid the urge to be a vigilante. This is not the place to teach lessons, and the tailgater will not learn by having you frustrate them further. Just concentrate on diffusing the situation. Let law enforcement handle the enforcement of laws.

13- Tap your brakes lightly a few times, so that he/she sees your brake lights, but not so hard that you actually slow down.

This is another signal for them to back off. (Don’t brake hard to ‘teach them a lesson’ – this will only end up causing an accident, which is worse for everybody.)

Q: What is the best way to deal with tailgaters without rewarding them for their dangerous behavior?

A: By “reward” I’m assuming you don’t mean a trophy or a ribbon. Does getting out of the way of a tailgater feel like rewarding them for their behavior? If so, let’s change the question a bit. How about this: What is the best way to deal with tailgaters so that I am more likely to have a safe outcome?

First though, let’s consider why people might tailgate. I can think of three reasons:

1. They’re oblivious – These drivers may not even know they’re tailgating, or they don’t realize the risks involved in following too close.

2. They’re jerks – These drivers want you to know that they own the road and you’re interfering with their use of it.

3. Someone is impeding traffic – For example, drivers who travel slow in the passing lane; drivers who begin to pass a vehicle on the freeway, and then match speeds with that vehicle; drivers who on curvy roads, drive extra-slow in the curves, but then speed up in the straight sections. That doesn’t justify the tailgating, but it increases the likelihood of it happening.

Number three is the easiest to solve; if you drive at a speed that collects cars behind you, be courteous (and law-abiding) and move out of the way for the faster moving traffic. RCW 46.61.127 directs drivers to pull over at the first safe opportunity when there are five or more vehicles lined up behind the slower driver.

That doesn’t describe you? Okay, good. We’ll move on.

I don’t think slow drivers are the root cause of following too close. Sometimes it’s reason one; the oblivious drivers, but often it’s reason two; the aggressive drivers. The actions of an aggressive tailgater span from a simple riding your bumper to flashing headlights, honking horn and not-so-subtle hand gestures.

First of all, don’t take the actions of a tailgater personally. To paraphrase that classic break-up line, it’s not you, it’s him or her. Maybe she’s having a bad day, maybe that’s how he always drives. Either way, stay classy.

Maintain a safe and steady speed, and move out of the way when you can. The more aggressive the tailgating driver, the more important to remain calm and be clear with traffic intentions. Example – I’m traveling on the freeway, in the left lane, passing a car in the right lane. A vehicle comes up behind me at a high rate of speed and starts flashing its high beams. When I complete my pass I make sure to signal before changing lanes, because in my experience there is a high likelihood that the tailgating driver is going to try to squeeze between me and the car I’m passing at the first opportunity. I want to make it clear that I intend to move right as soon as I can see the car I passed in my rear view mirror. (helpful tip – if you can’t see all of the car behind you in your rear view mirror one of two things is happening – either they are tailgating or you just cut them off.)

If you’re on a curvy road with only one lane in each direction, the tailgater may be hoping for a clear place to pass. Once you reach a straight section of road, stick with the same speed you were going through the curves instead of speeding up right away. That will give the tailgater an opportunity to get past you.

Here’s another piece of advice: avoid the brake check. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, the brake check is when a driver hits the brakes for no apparent reason. It can range from a quick flash of the brake lights to a rapid slow-down. You might think a brake check will get the attention of the driver behind you, but consider the kinds of tailgaters mentioned earlier. The oblivious driver might not even notice and end up crashing into you, and the aggressive driver may consider your brake check a personal insult and become even more aggressive. It can also work like the boy who cried wolf. Tap the brakes a few times for no reason and the tailgater might ignore it when it really counts. You might win in court, but that’s a hollow victory when the crash could have been avoided.

Maybe you still think getting out of the way rewards a tailgater, but the less I’m harassed by an aggressive driver the better, and that’s it’s own reward.

Trying to make sense out of getting around

How to handle an aggressive tailgater

Bill asked about a specific incident, but the answer from CHP Officer Jon Sloat applies to any driver, anywhere.

Question: On a narrow back road with limited space to move over to allow traffic to pass safely, what is one to do when they are travelling at the posted speed limit and have an overly aggressive tailgater approach them at a high rate of speed? I had this happen to me recently. I wasn’t able to move over safely, and the person got more and more aggressive.

Calling 911 isn’t an option, as 1). cell coverage is bad in this area, and 2). it would make the situation much more dangerous trying to make a call. — Bill

Answer: Our advice is to pull over when you are able and let the aggressive driver go. Until then, number 1, do not push your speed to a point where you do not feel safe just to get them off your bumper. Stay at the speed that is comfortable for you. Number 2 do not tap the breaks to either teach a lesson or suggest they back off. This will generally cause an aggressive driver to become more angry and dangerous. If they attempt to pass, back off and let them.

We find that aggressive, dangerous driving is usually a pattern of behavior, not a single incident. A person can not engage in a pattern of risky behavior indefinitely without repercussions; they will be stopped and cited, arrested, or they may crash. We try to get them prior to that, but in the mean time, let them go.

Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter at @PDRoadWarrior.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

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How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

I agree let them past, pull to the left and enjoy the zen. I also slow gently and/or switch the cars main lights on and off (red lights near brake lights appear suggesting braking without doing so, usually tailing driver slows reflexively re-establishing a gap especially useful if hard to pull over)

On multi lane roads, I drive in the left lane. I use the right lane for overtaking. If I see someone in my mirrors who seems to be moving faster than me, I get out of their way when I get a chance. When moving off from the lights, I don’t dawdle around.
Funny, but I don’t seem to get bothered by tailgaters.

Perfect 10/10. With most modern cars i’m amazed that alot take 2km to get to a posted limit of 60.

I’ll bet you also use your cruise control and maintain a set speed on the freeway, & probably at the speed limit- so few people do.

I’m always amazed / dismayed to hear folk complain about being “tailgated by nasty trucks on the freeway”. For starters, if a 100kph limited truck is up your behind, then you are moving too slowly, or being inattentive and letting your speed drift up and down, or are simply in the wrong lane.

Far too many people are obviously too important being the centre of their own universe to show courtesy to other road users. And while I certainly don’t advocate tailgating or road rage, I can definitely understand how it comes about.

wash your windscreen. That’ll get rid of most tailgaters.

Yet some people do that even when you are 2 car lengths behind them in the right hand lane doing 58km/ph in the 70 zone.

There is a better way ……if you are at the legal speed ….I just slow down enough to piss them off then accelerate back to the legal speed ……maybe even stick my finger up to show I’m not playing their game …..I don’t mean slow down a lot as in obstructing traffic …..just enough to notice …..the fact is IF YOU GIVe INTO these bullies they will keep doing it …..get a rear Dash cam for police or employer contact

flick your hazard lights on for a few seconds, has worked for me in the past.

Good tip, Steve. Thanks – Isaac

If we were in America, just wave a gun out the window. If they can’t get the hint then….well…

Most commenters appear to be living in a world where drivers are blessed with at least a modicum of intelligence. Where I live, for 80% of drivers, as close as you can get to the vehicle in front is the default position. I use the term ‘driver’ loosely, since the road position is not something these people even think about, nor much else to do with being in control of a vehicle. They’re too busy texting or on their phone. They use the vehicle in front like a pathfinder, and the closer the better.
To me, someone right up your ‘tail’ who’s completely unaware of it is far more frightening than someone hell-bent on getting by. At least they’re focused on their objective. If you slow down to let the unaware / uninvolved tailgater pass, they simply slow down with you. Their attention may be somewhere, but it’s not on the road, or the dynamically-changing driving environment If a hard-braking situation should arise, there’s no cushion for reaction from the following vehicle, because the person behind the wheel is present only physically.
And, sorry to the commenter who proclaims that, ‘it’s ll your own fault if you’re tailgated by nasty trucks on the freeway” up here the same non-rules apply. But made worse by truck drivers claiming that they’e not driving dangerously because they’re ‘higher up, and can see further down the road’ than a sedan driver. When you’ve got a B-Double so close behind you at freeway speed, (in traffic that doesn’t want to allow you to escape into its already crowded lane) that all you can see in your mirror is the grille, and then only part of it, telling yourself that the person at the wheel is a superior driver provides no comfort at all. About the only thing you can do is hope he or she isn’t wearing thongs.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Truck drivers usually see it all when it comes to issues on the road. One of the most annoying instances is when you look in your mirror and notice a tailgater that is a little too close behind you. Instinctively, we go for the horn or yell out the window, but there’s a much better way to deal with it. Learn how to handle tailgaters on the road ahead.

Drive Comfortably

If you are dealing with a tailgater on the road, it’s important to drive at a comfortable pace and not speed up in response. The person could pass you if they wanted to and speeding up won’t necessarily help. A better and safer option is to not just drive at the speed limit, but to stay at a speed that is comfortable to you.

Change Lanes

There’s a chance that the person behind you never makes that move into the other lane—then, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. You should make the move into another lane, so you no longer have to deal with the tailgater on the road. If you don’t have another lane available to you, pull over to a safe spot on the road so that they can pass you.

Don’t Use Your Brakes Too Much

When you are dealing with a tailgater, you should also avoid using your brakes too much on the road. Riding on your brakes is a surefire way for you to get into an accident. It’s in your best interest to maintain your speed and not reach for your brakes unless you need to because of what is in front of you.

Remain Calm

The last part on how to handle tailgaters on the road is to remain as calm as possible. Road rage never helps in any situation and usually makes matters worse. Try to be a responsible driver and not let the tailgater get the better of you.

Safety is a top priority for truck drivers, which is why you should be equipped with Peterbilt mirrors and other quality semi-truck accessories that you can get from Unitruck.

I never usually do anything. But I feel like I should do at least something to let them know that what they’re doing is wrong, dangerous, and pointless, without doing something stupid or reckless myself.

I was on a 3 lane surface street earlier. Jammed up with cars, probably hundreds of cars directly in front of me and I was all the way in the far right lane since it seemed to be moving slightly faster than the others. And the guy behind me is just tailgating me relentlessly to the point where all I can see is his windshield, as if to be totally oblivious that there are tons of cars in front of me and all around me. I just kept driving and keeping a 2-3 car length gap between the car in front of me, but he kept violently switching lanes trying to pass me, then his lane would slow down, then the moron would be like 15 cars back from where he started, then he would weave between traffic, catch up to me and start riding my *** again. He repeated that like 5 times.

Morons like this make no sense to me. I ended up getting way farther than him by just staying in my lane the whole time and keeping a safe distance. His tailgating and swerving only delayed him. At the end of it I watched him violently swerve into the clearly slower lane in a final attempt to get around me only for him to get stuck at a red light behind like 20 other cars while I breezed right through and never saw him again.

How do you guys normally handle people like this?

I react differently when I am driving alone or with other people as passengers. When I am driving with other passengers, I try to tone it down and just grin and bear it. When I am alone. I hit my brake lights. I also keep a few pebbles in my ash tray. Then I wait until they are practically touching my rear bumper and I let the rocks fly off the back of my car. Shards of weighted granite works best for cracking windshields I found out from an autobody friend of mine.One truck hit me and did nothing to my car and his engine started smoking so bad his truck broke down and I just drove off. The rear vehicle is at fault in collision in my state and that’s the law that I checked with my friends at local police stations. Serves the SOB right for tailgating me. How do you handle tailgaters on the road? Got any tricks for payback attacks? I used to keep a rifle on a rack in my truck in Oklahoma but I can’t do that in Northeast. When they high beam a double barrel shotgun they tend to slow down a few MPHs after they see that mother load. Well I am also lobbying to get the gun laws changed in my state but that is another post.

17 Answers

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

sounds like someone needs anger management. throwing rocks out the window is a pretty dumb idea your autobody buddy must be a real winner but good buisness for him. take a breather, slow down, and let them pass you. maybe if your lucky the tailgater will have a doublebarrel shotgun on his rack to, then yall could have a ho-down

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

There are two types of tailgaters as far as I am concerned!

Crazy ones and half crazy ones.

The first thing I do is turn my rear view mirror on the windshield down so that I can’t see them. For most of them this works. When it is safe for them to pass, I let them. If I can (when it is a two lane road), I pull off the road and let them go.

But there are some drivers up here in the hills that will pass you in a no passing zone and tailgating is the first step they take. For them it is a totally different scenario, they never get close enough to pass me.

There are exceptions, but most of the time, I can go faster. My primary concern is public safety on this issue. If I am driving fast, the it is just me and those with me that are at risk. But some one passing in a no passing zone is putting themselves, others (who ever might be coming the other way) and those in my car at risk.

As far as keeping others from passing me, I don’t care to. It is about keeping myself and others as safe as I can when I drive.

Ego lost his driving privileges a long time ago in my car!

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

I like to “brake check” too. But because I don’t want to cause an accident, I’ll usually use my left foot to gently tap the brake while keeping my foot on the accelerator. Just enough brakes to flash the lights and that usually gets rid of them. I will admit, though, that I’m guilty of the above (tailgating) as revenge when some idiot cuts me off. I gotta get outta *that* habit because of the aforementioned “rear vehicle at fault” collision law.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

I lightly tap my breaks three times to let them know that I will be slowing down. Then I slow down at least 5 mph (or more if necessary) till they get the point and pass me or lay off of my tail. If they don’t do that and they are driving very recklessly and I KNOW that I am going to speed limit I wait till we get to a passing zone in the road and reduce my speed by half and they get so irritated that they pass me.

That usually does the trick. I hate people who flash you from behind and ride your tail because they want you to speed up. Have some courtesy, eh?

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

The “right” way to deal with them is to slow down. What I would do since you can’t have a shotgun in your rear-window is to stick a baseball bat in your back window. I had to switch to that once i got married the wife didn’t like having a gun in the truck with the kids. Now whenever anyone tailgates me i just reach back and open the sliding window. That usually changes their driving habits.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

In my younger days, I used to vary my speed with out ever hitting the brake. Up , down and all around. But that was back on the east coast. I have learned to drive friendly here in Oklahoma , Kansas, and Texas and just pull over if possible for the frantic driver behind me to pass. The only thing that riles me is if someone starts to flash the high beams. That still brings out the bad side. Guns and rocks though?

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

There are few things more frustrating for motorcyclists to deal with on the road than a tailgater. With these individuals, it can seem that no matter what speed you are traveling, they will not be satisfied and they can often seem determined to get their front bumper as close to your rear as they can.

These road rage practitioners are annoying and dangerous enough to average motorists and exponentially more threatening to motorcycle riders who are at a much higher risk of serious injury if they are rear-ended. To help keep riders safe and clear of these dangerous individuals, we would like to discuss some safe ways for riders to deal with tailgaters the next time they decide to park themselves directly over your back tire.

One of the first things riders should check if they catch a motorist riding their tail is their own speed. If you are legitimately going to slow, it might be best for you to speed up somewhat to better keep up with the speed limit and flow of traffic. This can be a common issue among newer riders that are not yet comfortable taking their bike up to higher speeds. In this case, we would recommend that new riders stick to roads with lower speed limits until they are more confident in their abilities at higher speeds.

If you are riding at an appropriate speed, and you still have a dangerous driver following too close, try adjusting your lane position to see farther up the road. You may find yourself riding slowly because the vehicle in front of you is driving too slowly. Adjusting to your lane position to see more of the road ahead of the vehicle in front of you will allow you to better see and react to what is coming. This will prevent you from having to make any sudden reactions that could lead to your tailgater striking you from behind when they cannot react fast enough.

Another strategy that seems somewhat counterintuitive is increasing your following distance from any traffic in front of you. This will mean slowing down somewhat, which can often force the tailgater to slow down in turn and give you more space. Alternatively, a few quick taps of your brakes to flash your brake lights might be enough to alert the driver behind you that they have invaded your space. For those drivers that genuinely did not mean to follow too closely, this is usually enough to get them to back off and give you more space.

Finally, if all else fails to get the tailgater to give you adequate space, one of the safest things to do is simply pull over and let them go by. While this might interrupt an enjoyable ride or make you late to your destination, this will allow you the proper space to ride safely and comfortably once the tailgater has passed. If you get back on the road behind your tailgater, remember to allow plenty of space between the two of you should you need to react and avoid an accident caused by them down the road.

The road can sometimes resemble a battle field. Tailgaters, horn-honkers, and jerks who cut you off are enough to drive any driver batty. Here’s how to keep your cool behind the wheel and stay calm during moments in which you’d like to explode.

You Will Need:
• Sleep
• Plenty of time to reach your destination
• Patience
• Relaxing music (optional)
• Photos of your loved ones (optional)

Step 1: Get sleep
Get plenty of shut-eye. Lack of sleep can make you cranky and prone to feelings of annoyance and anger. Get the recommended eight hours before your morning commute.

Step 2: Give yourself time to get there
Allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. If you’re running late, it’s easy to get stressed and lose your temper on the road. Allotting 10 extra minutes for your trip will allow you to handle unexpected delays calmly.

Step 3: Take breaks on long trips
Take regular breaks when driving long distances to stretch your legs and grab some food. Spending hour after hour in a stuffy car can leave you irritable and frustrated.

Step 4: Keep your cool
If someone changes lanes without looking, tailgates you, or cuts you off, count to 10 and take a few deep breaths. Losing your temper won’t make the other person a better driver, so take the high road and let it go.

Step 5: Don’t engage
An angry driver is looking for a fight, so simply refuse to join in. And don’t ever pull off to side of the road to “settle” things.

Step 6: Consult a doctor
If you feel like you’re unable to control your rage while driving, consult a physician. Doctors have found that road rage may be a symptom of Intermittent Explosive Disorder, which may affect as many as 16 million Americans.

Trivia: A study found that drivers with a lot of bumper stickers and decals on their cars are more likely to exhibit road rage.

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How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Driving a car. (Photo: Getty Images)

Story Highlights

  • The first thing a person being tailgated might want to do is conduct an action coined “brake checking,” or the slamming of brakes to warn the tailgater to back off. Don’t do it
  • The safest and fastest way to deal with a tailgater or reckless driver is to create some distance
  • If the individual continues to be reckless in his or her driving and there is a serious threat to the safety of others, find a safe place to pull over and call 911
  • A license plate number, the vehicle’s color, make, model and last known direction of travel are key when giving information to the dispatcher

Question: Is there a good rule to follow if someone is tailgating you or driving recklessly around you?

Answer: Tailgaters and reckless drivers can be a threat to the public’s safety and can cause heightened and negative emotions. The first thing a person being tailgated might want to do is conduct an action coined “brake checking,” or the slamming of brakes to warn the tailgater to back off.

This is something you should not do! By doing so you are only putting yourself and others in harm’s way. Brake checking can also lead to “road rage.” Road rage is real and people have been seriously injured and killed over something that could have been avoided. The key to tailgaters and reckless drivers is to try to avoid them at all costs.

The safest and fastest way to deal with a tailgater or reckless driver is to create some distance. One easy course of action is to change lanes and just let the individual drive by. Getting into a confrontation is not the answer.

If the individual continues to be reckless in his or her driving and there is a serious threat to the safety of others, find a safe place to pull over and call 911. While on the phone with the police dispatcher, the best thing you can do without putting yourself in harm’s way is to get a good description of the driver and the vehicle.

A license plate number, the vehicle’s color, make, model and last known direction of travel are key when giving information to the dispatcher. The police dispatcher may want to take your information as well just in case an officer needs more detail as to what you observed.

Please remember driving conditions can change in a matter of seconds. You as a driver must always be cognizant of what is in front of you, behind you and on each side of you. Always look for an escape route in case you have to make a sudden maneuver. Most importantly, the key to tailgaters and reckless drivers is to avoid them at all costs. Don’t let frustration and pride get the best of you. Concentrate on getting you and your loved ones to your destination peacefully and safely.

You’re out on your bike going to the store, on your way to or from work, or simply out for a ride. It’s smooth sailing, until you get that feeling on the back of your neck and look in the mirror. There’s a passenger vehicle right on your butt and it either won’t back off or isn’t going to pass. It’s obvious that the vehicle is too close to you, and you can only imagine if what it could do to you if it were to slam into your rear tire or even run over you.

You can get angry (and rightly so) because this driver is either being aggressive or oblivious, and both of those are a huge danger to you and others. Your first instinct probably involves a rude gesture and more than a few obscenities. But what should you really do?

Tailgating: it happens all the time when driving a car, and it will certainly happen at some point while riding your motorcycle. And since many motorcyclists slow down by simply downshifting or coasting instead of using the brake (no brake lights!), the possibility of being struck by a vehicle from behind while being tailgated is greatly increased.

As safely as you ride, there is no way to control other drivers on the road, so at some point you’ll likely find yourself being tailgated. The way you handle the situation can not only affect how the other driver reacts, but also your safety and possibly your life.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends that when being tailgated, allow yourself extra room in front of your bike in case you must react quickly. Basically that means that if someone is tailgating you, do the opposite to the person in front of you. That will lessen the likelihood that you will have to hit your brakes hard or another scenario that could cause a collision from behind.

Also, the majority of motorcycle crashing involve a front-end collision, with a much smaller percentage each year comprising rear-end collisions. What that means for you is that you’re more likely to strike something in front of you while distracted by a tailgater. However, being tailgated is still a dangerous situation and you want to get out of it as soon and safely as possible.

What you do not want to do is speed up even more to try to distance yourself from the tailgating vehicle. Firstly, this only adds to the danger of the situation by increased speeds and possibly some extra maneuvering. Secondly, speeding up will probably cause the passenger vehicle to also speed up, and then you’re in an high-speed tailgating situation, stuck in a worse spot than you were to begin with.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Be aware of everyone on the road (and don’t use your phone while on your motorcycle!)

And while anger or frustration may be natural first reaction, keep in mind that other motorists do not always intentionally tailgate. Sadly, many motorists do not understand what it is like to ride a motorcycle and have trouble judging how fast you are going, how close they are in relation to you, the difference in braking, and the fact that you own as much road space as they do, even if your bike is smaller than their SUV.

Although it is the ideal to educate every single driver about motorcycles and motorcycle safety, it simply is not the reality. This does not excuse tailgating, however, and we recommend you keep this in mind when dealing with a tailgater.

Do not provoke a tailgater by making rude gestures or yelling nasty comments to them. If the driver is acting aggressive on the road, this will only raise that tension, increasing the risk for road rage. If they weren’t upset before, but simply aloof as to their bad driving, rude gestures and obscenities will only put them in a worse mood.

Along with increasing the space in front of your motorcycle and the next vehicle, you can lightly tap on your breaks to help alert the tailgater where you are. If the tailgating continues and you feel unsafe, use your signal and pull over when possible, allowing the motorist to pass you. When it is safe, signal again and return to the road.

You won’t want to pull over for a rude motorist or a bad driver, but it’s worth it for your safety. If they won’t pass and a subtle hint (lightly tapping brakes) doesn’t work, just safely pull over and let them go by. They’ll be gone from your road experience then and in reality the whole process can take less than a minute. You won’t want to. You shouldn’t have to. You have done anything wrong – it’s the other person who is the bad driver – so why should you give up the road to let them by? Because your safety and your life is worth it, that’s why.

You can find more information about motorcycle safety on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s website.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

How to Handle Tailgaters on the RoadThe risk of being rear ended increases big time when dealing with tailgaters. Not only is tailgating rude behavior, it’s also extremely dangerous and leads to thousands of traffic accidents each year. When faced with a tailgater, it’s important to take the “high road” and react with your head, not your emotions. It could mean the difference between being rear ended and being safe.

Don’t Give In To Tailgating – It Won’t Work Anyway!

Chances are, you’ve dealt with people following too close many times before. And whether you want to admit it or not, being tailgated has probably influenced your driving behavior. Who wants to risk being rear ended? But the truth is, you can’t satisfy a tailgater! The vast majority of the time, even if you speed up, the tailgater will continue to follow too closely. So why give in to them in the first place?

What To Do When You’re Being Tailgated

If you find yourself in front of somebody following to closely, don’t lose control of your emotions. When somebody is driving aggressively behind you, it quickly becomes insulting and annoying. But remain calm. Think with your head. Here’s what to do:

Drive even slower

Yup. Next time you’re being tailgated, give it a try! Everybody has a breaking point. Eventually, instead of continuing to ride right on your bumper, they will angrily pass you. So what? It’s not your fault they’re running behind schedule! Don’t hit the brakes or you might get rear ended. Just let off the gas pedal. Do everything slowly. The last thing you want is for the jerk to run into you.

Pull over

I know what you’re thinking; “But if I pull over, I’m letting the jerk win!”

My question to you is….so? Does it really matter? Do yourself a big favor and leave your ego in the garage. Trying to “win” a driving war is probably one of the most juvenile things you can do, not to mention dangerous. Hit your signal, slowly move over, and once the idiot passes you, continue along your merry way. Problem solved. Don’t act like you have something to prove to an idiot. It makes you look like a… Well, you know.

Ignore it

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

If you can’t safely pull over, and slowing down hasn’t worked, than just ignore it. You can’t control stupid. So just continue to follow proper defensive driving techniques and forget about it. Actually, if you’re really into “winning” the driving battle, this is the best way to do it. While they are basically saying “Hey! Look at me! I want you to go faster!” You reply with “Huh?” Very annoying to the tailgater… You win!

The main thing to remember is you can never make a tailgater happy. So don’t even try to give in. You’re better than that anyway. Aren’t you? Reduce your risk of being rear ended by a tailgater by keeping your cool and continuing to follow safe driving tips.

Retaliation Leads To Road Rage

Whether you decide to retaliate against a tailgating driver or not is ultimately up to you. All I can do is try to discourage it. It’s important to realize, however, that a tailgating driver is probably already aggravated and even a small amount of retaliation could spark a road rage event you weren’t expecting. Don’t stoop to the tailgaters level or allow them to be in control of your emotions. Relax.

It’s Not YOU

Tailgaters generally aren’t upset at you as an individual. They don’t even know who you are. What tailgaters are upset about is the obstacle in their way. You and your vehicle is that obstacle. So when you’re being tailgated, don’t feel personally offended. Simply continue to drive safely and let them be as aggravated as they choose to be.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

One of our road rage pet peeves: tailgating.

You know what we’re talking about. Nothing ruins a drive quite like looking in your rearview mirror and seeing nothing but the front end of the car behind you. If they’re a really skilled tailgater, you might even make eye contact with them through your rearview! The worry and frustration of being followed too closely is enough to distract even the most experienced drivers.

Unfortunately, you can’t control other drivers, but you can learn how to handle their bad habits. Here are 5 tips for dealing with a tailgater:

  • Remain calm
  • Keep right
  • Slow down
  • Use cruise control
  • Don’t brake check

Remain calm

Road rage never helped anyone. Resist the urge to take another driver’s behavior personally. Don’t let yourself be pressured into going faster than you feel comfortable, particularly if the road conditions are less than ideal. Curvy, wet, or busy roads are no place to test your limits.

Keep right

One way to handle tailgaters is to avoid them in the first place. Staying in the right hand lane allows faster drivers to go around you more easily. If you’re driving on a winding, two lane road or in a suburban area, go ahead pull over if you can find a safe place to do so to let the faster driver pass.

Don’t brake check tailgaters

It’s so, so tempting, but don’t do it. If the driver behind you is tailgating because they’re not paying enough attention, they may accidentally rear end you. Or, if if they’re particularly aggressive, they may not take the hint and start tailgating closer. Rather than trying to prove a point, lower your chances of getting into an accident by resisting the urge to tap the brakes.

Use cruise control

Just like tailgaters might not always realize they’re following too close for comfort, you might not realize you’re changing speeds, traveling under the recommended speed limit, or making it difficult for drivers to pass you. Use cruise control on the highway to maintain a consistent speed and help other drivers make safer judgement calls when deciding whether or not to pass you.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Chances are, you have found yourself in a situation where you feel that you are being followed too closely by another vehicle. Not only is this behaviour intimidating, but the obvious risks of ‘rear-end’ crashes are heightened with the driver following having less time to brake.

Broadly speaking, tailgating means driving without sufficient distance between vehicles to avoid a crash. Reaction time to an emergency ranges from 1.5 to 3 or more seconds, which means that even the best of us are guilty of tailgating at some stage during our time behind the wheel.

The consequences of tailgating

Tailgating is a key factor to the most serious common crashes on our roads. More than 10,000 rear-end crashes are reported in NSW each year, with a greater number going unreported, as no one is injured. According to the RMS, rear-end crashes make up a staggering 40% of all reported crashes for experienced drivers.

In terms of liability, if a driver’s vehicle is struck from behind by another vehicle, the resulting accident is nearly always the striking driver’s fault. The cases of which can be due to drivers being distracted or induced by ‘being in a hurry’ and tail-gating in the hopes of ‘pushing’ other drivers out of the way.

What should I do if I find myself being tailgated?

The penalty for tailgating is currently a $439 fine and 3 demerit points. If you are being tailgated by an aggressive driver, it is in your best interest to not allow tailgaters to indirectly control your speed through intimidation. It is wise to move out of their way by pulling over or turning left, avoid slowing down or flashing your brake lights, as this may escalate the situation to road rage. Rather than taking matters into your own hands, you can report the driver to police or the business to which the vehicle belongs and appropriate measures of disciplinary action should be taken.

Create a safer environment for yourself and other road users

A 2-3 second gap (4-6 seconds in the wet) from the vehicle in front will ensure you have enough time to react and stop in most emergencies. This can be a challenge at first and it may feel like it’s ‘costing you time’, but in comparison to other drivers who are tailgating, the difference in arrival time is slight. Plus, if you are participating in tailgating behaviour, the chances of you being involved in a crash (as noted) are heightened, which can make you seriously late for a deadline, or worse, not turning up at all.

“The Ultimate Tailgater’s Racing Guide,” by tailgating expert Stephen Linn, is an indispensable resource for those who love to take their party on the road, racing-style. Filled with tips on gear, attire and etiquette, mouthwatering recipes, tailgating setups and track guides for nearly 300 venues coast-to-coast, “The Ultimate Tailgater’s Racing Guide” equips racing enthusiasts with the tools they need to tailgate like a pro.

Nashville, TN (PRWeb) January 30, 2007 — The roar of the engines. The sight of the checkered flag. The smell of burning rubber. These are just a few of the sensory experiences which have made automobile racing one of the world’s most popular spectator sports. But another activity has captivated diehard racing fans, one that combines their need for speed with their passion for food, fun and friends. Hardly a spectator sport, tailgating is a literal feast for the senses, and although this growing phenomenon takes place outside the track, it is considered by many to be an integral part of the racing experience.

From the author who brought sports fans the only tailgating resources endorsed by the American Tailgaters Association, comes a brand new book specifically for racing fans. Written by tailgating expert Stephen Linn, “The Ultimate Tailgater’s Racing Guide” (Rutledge Hill Press, ISBN: 1-4016-0334-3, Price: $14.99, March 2007) is an indispensable resource for those who love to take their party on the road, racing-style. Filled with tips on gear, attire and etiquette, mouthwatering recipes, tailgating setups, and track guides for nearly 300 venues coast-to-coast, “The Ultimate Tailgater’s Racing Guide” equips racing enthusiasts with the tools they need to tailgate like a pro.

“Racing tailgaters — whether in RVs, tents, or the backseats of their cars — share a special bond most of their football tailgating cousins don’t,” writes Linn. “The sense of community among racing tailgaters runs as deep as their feelings about Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Funny Cars, and Top Fuel dragsters. For many, it runs deeper. There are life-long friendships forged in these parking-lot neighborhoods. This book celebrates these communities. It will also help you throw the best party in the parking lot!”

Whether a devotee of Nascar, NHRA, IHRA, IRL, Champ Cars or all of the above, racing aficionados of all backgrounds will be encouraged to take their tailgating to the next level after mining gems of wisdom from this fun and insightful guidebook. Regardless of location, be it Talladega, Bristol or Pocono, one thing is sure — Linn will help racing fans develop tailgating memories to be savored long after the last lights in the grandstand have been turned off.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

When you’re doing business in far-flung places and have a team of road warriors servicing clients around the country or around the world, it can be difficult to keep them productive, engaged and feeling like part of the team. In addition to carrying out their jobs and meeting their goals, frequent travelers must deal with the stress of the road and the feelings of being outliers – part of the company, but not in the same close-knit way that people who work together in an office might be.

“There are some additional issues you need to consider for traveling employees, and keeping them feeling supported and valued can take some effort,” says Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D., professor of global leadership, international business and strategy and Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business in Boston, Mass. She suggests these nuances when managing people who spend a lot of time on the road.

Define the job well. It may seem obvious that your employees need to know what is – and isn’t – their job, but you can never be too clear in defining roles and expectations, Caligiuri says. Problems arise when employees try to take on too much, affecting overall customer satisfaction or productivity. For example, if a salesperson encounters a technical issue with the equipment he or she is selling and attempts to fix it, doing so could lead to delays on other sales calls as well as an unhappy customer. Give the employee if-then scenarios to understand when it’s time to call in a supervisor, customer service representatives, or other company members.

“You need to let them know when it’s time to ask for help. Talk to them about what the expectation for asking a supervisor for assistance would be an in office setting and show them how that applies on the road. Also, let them know it’s okay to ask for help,” Caligiuri says.

Be clear about communication. Nothing fosters mistrust on both sides faster than delayed or unclear communication expectations. Caligiuri suggests setting guidelines about response times, such as a “two-hour rule” for response time to any telephone call, text message, or email message. Then, set boundaries for those guidelines, as well – an email received at 10 p.m. doesn’t have to be returned until the following morning. She also recommends setting regular communication times as needed, such as speaking every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at a certain time. Those regular calls can help the employee feel connected to the office and give them a venue to voice any concerns or issues.

Focus on outcomes instead of process. When your employees are constantly on the road, you need to detach from how they do things and focus on how well they do things, Caligiuri says. Sometimes, the two are related, but often they are not. You can drive yourself crazy worrying about how they organize appointments or refine their presentations, but if the end result is good, you might need to lighten up a little.

Insist on face time. Nothing cements bonds like meeting face-to-face. You can see expressions and mannerisms that aren’t possible over the phone or through email or text messages, Caligiuri says. And while videoconferencing can be a handy substitute, note your form: Look into the camera as much as you look at the person’s face on the screen. By looking at the camera, it appears that you’re looking the person in the eye while focusing on the face on the screen looks as if you’re gazing downward, which can make you seem untrustworthy.

Provide on-the-road support. Your employees should have a safety net in case something happens on the road. Make sure your medical insurance will cover them if they get in an accident in a different state or foreign country. Ensure they have transportation assistance, such as roadside assistance or a travel agency to manage flights, whenever they might need it. And always provide them with a way to get in touch with key managers in case of emergency, she says.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Being involved in a car collision is always stressful, but it’s made even worse when the driver of the other vehicle turns it into a hit-and-run by driving away from the scene of the accident. Let’s cover what you should do if you’ve pulled off the road and see the other driver speeding away.

Legal Requirements and Consequences

First, let’s look at what the hit-and-run driver should have done and consider the possible consequences for them if they’re caught.

Requirements

In most states, drivers involved in an accident with another vehicle are legally required to move quickly to a safe location and then park, if that is possible given the condition of the vehicle. They should then check on the health and safety of everyone who was a driver or a passenger in the vehicles as well as anyone else nearby who may have been injured in the crash. If anyone needs medical attention, they should call for emergency assistance immediately.  

Consequences

The legal consequences of leaving the scene of an accident vary from state to state and depend on whether anyone died or suffered a serious injury. Penalties could include the suspension of the person’s driver’s license for a number of years, a fine of as much as $20,000, and a prison term of up to 15 years.  

Stay at the Scene and Call the Police

Because you are legally responsible for remaining at the scene of an accident, you should not be tempted to chase after the other driver. Nor should you risk trying to catch up with or detain them; it’s highly dangerous and unpredictable and can only make the situation more difficult.

You should call the police as soon as you can because an accident report will be crucial in potentially locating the hit-and-run driver and necessary for your insurance claim.   The sooner the police are aware of the accident, the sooner they can begin tracking down the driver—hopefully while that person is still on the road.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit-and-run accidents represent about 11% to 13% of all car crashes.  

Take Notes and Photographs, Identify Witnesses

You should prepare yourself to be able to give as much information as possible to the police. Take notes of what happened and snap photographs of the accident scene and any damage to your vehicle.

Ideally, you will be able to give the license plate number of the hit-and-run driver’s car. If you can’t, you should describe the vehicle—and the driver, if you were able to get a good look at them—in as much detail as possible. The make, model, and color of the vehicle, as well as any helpful identifier, such as a bumper sticker on the vehicle, would all be helpful information. You can also suggest where the other driver’s vehicle might be damaged based on the nature of the collision.

You should make note of the time of the accident and the direction the other vehicle was headed when you could last see them.  

If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask them to stick around and talk to the police. They may have been in a better position to see the driver or to note the runaway car’s license plate. You should also ask them for their name and contact information.  

Call Your Insurance Company

Your next call should be to your auto insurance provider. It’s a good idea to let them know about the accident—and its hit-and-run nature—right away, so they can begin processing your claim.  

Get Medical Assistance

If you are not sure of the extent of your injuries or are not certain you weren’t injured, you should strongly consider receiving medical assistance at the scene. If the other driver is apprehended, it would be beneficial for any legal case you make against them if you have medical records establishing a link between the accident and your injuries.  

Obtain the Police Report

After you and any witnesses have spoken with the police, ask the officer or officers when the report will be available. Take down their names and badge numbers; that should make obtaining the report easier once it’s completed.  

Even though it seems unfair, filing a claim for a hit-and-run accident may raise the cost of your car insurance premiums.  

Coverage Types

Whether you are able to get compensated for your injuries, if applicable, and for damage to your vehicle depends on whether the hit-and-run driver is caught and the types of auto insurance coverage you have. If the other driver is found, you can make a claim against their liability insurance. You can’t make a claim on your own liability insurance if you were not at fault for the accident.  

Collision and Uninsured Motorist Coverage

You should be able to get money from your carrier to pay for at least some of your expenses if you have certain insurance beyond basic liability. Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle no matter who is at fault, and uninsured motorist coverage should pay for your bodily injury and vehicle damage if the other motorist drives away and is, therefore, effectively uninsured. Regulations differ from state to state and you will need to have purchased both types (injury and damage) of uninsured coverage.  

You generally must pay a deductible before your collision coverage kicks in. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage usually doesn’t require paying a deductible, but uninsured motorist vehicle damage coverage typically does.  

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

In some states, you may also purchase underinsured motorist insurance, which covers you in the event the limit of the at-fault driver’s liability insurance isn’t high enough to fully cover your losses.  

You’re running late for an appointment and hit a traffic jam. Or maybe someone cuts you off. How do you respond? Driving can be stressful, but feeling angry when behind the wheel could lead to aggressive driving, distracted driving or even an accident.

What Is Road Rage?

Aggressive driving can take many forms, like tailgating, weaving and speeding. It happens a lot: One survey found that nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger or aggression behind the wheel at least once over the course of the prior year. The consequences can be serious: Aggressive driving played a role in 56 percent of fatal crashes over a five-year period, according to one analysis.

Here’s what to know about road rage, including tips on staying calm and what to do when confronted with an aggressive driver.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the RoadRoad Rage Factors

Here are some common factors that often contribute to road rage incidents or aggressive driving behavior.

  • Traffic delays
    • Heavy traffic, sitting at stoplights, looking for a parking space or even waiting for passengers can increase a driver’s anger level.
  • Running late
    • Running behind for a meeting or appointment can cause drivers to be impatient.
  • Anonymity
    • If drivers feel that they probably won’t see other drivers again, they may feel more comfortable engaging in risky driving behaviors like tailgating, cutting people off, excessive honking or making rude gestures.
  • Disregard for others and the law
    • Some drivers may think the rules don’t apply to them.
  • Habitual or learned behavior
    • For some drivers, aggressive driving may be the norm.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

How to Handle Tailgaters on the RoadMost Common Forms Of Road Rage

  • Tailgating
  • Yelling
  • Honking in anger
  • Making angry gestures
  • Trying to block another vehicle from changing lanes
  • Cutting off another vehicle on purpose
  • Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver
  • Bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose

How to Handle Tailgaters on the RoadHow to Avoid Road Rage

Make sure you have the right car insurance policy to protect yourself from aggressive drivers or if you find yourself the victim of a road rage incident.

Before You Get Behind The Wheel

  • Don’t rush. Give yourself time to get where you’re going; you’re less likely to become impatient and take unnecessary risks.
  • Cool off. If you’re upset, take time to calm down.

What To Remember When Driving

  • Give other drivers a break. If someone is driving slowly, keep in mind they might be lost.
  • Use hand gestures wisely. Keep gestures positive—say, waving to a driver who lets you in when merging.
  • Don’t tailgate. Always keep a safe distance from the car in front, no matter how slowly they might be driving.
  • Lay off the horn. Honking out of frustration won’t solve any problems; it will just increase the stress level for everyone on the road.
  • Don’t stop to confront another driver. Stopping could lead to a dangerous situation for everyone.

If Another Driver Acts Aggressively

  • Stay away. Safely change lanes, gradually slow down or even exit the highway to keep a safe distance from the aggressive driver.
  • Don’t reciprocate. Ignore the temptation to respond to the other driver; it could cause the situation to escalate. Don’t make eye contact.
  • Don’t stop. Stopping could lead to a person-to-person confrontation, which could be dangerous.
  • Watch your back. If you’re worried that the other driver is following you, keep your doors locked and drive to the nearest police station.

Taking a defensive driving course could help you stay safer on the road; it could also qualify you for a discount on car insurance. Search for a course near you at geico.com.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

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Leave a comment (cancel reply)

A good reminder that courtesy counts towards saving lives.

Marsha Stroub says,

Excellent advice. A good reminder that courtesy counts towards saving lives.

K Fiorentino says,

Thank you. good reminders

yes when someone acts out do not even look at them that’s what they want you to do. thankyou.

but some angry driver will try to cut off in front of you or cut in front and sudden stop , which sometimes is hard to to a sudden break especially on the highway

Joan B. Atkinson says,

Thanks for the tips.

Patricia A Dunagan says,

Thank you for the reminder.

myrtle S Dillard says,

I do not get involved with angry drivers.
I am a courtesy driver, I stop and allow other drivers to pull into traffic.
I drive a safe distance behind other drivers. I back off when a driver needs to move into my lane.

Ordra Gayle Vizcarra says,

Good Advice ! I have seem some of these road rage drivers who should read this ! I can’t imagine why they behave in such a way.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Road rash is type of friction burn or skin abrasion that occurs when you scrape your skin against something rough. Sometimes, these injuries are called raspberries or strawberries. Whatever you want to call them, they can be painful but are commonly treated at home.

Treating the road rash correctly can help prevent the wound from becoming infected. It will also help limit or prevent scarring.

Road rash is a superficial injury to the skin. The outer tissue is ripped away by a rub or a scrape against another object. Most of the time, road rash is a minor injury, but sometimes the injury can take off several layers of skin and require skin grafting surgery to help it heal correctly.

Road rash occurs more frequently in the spring and summer due to the weather and more people choosing outdoor activities. People sometimes choose to wear less clothing in the spring and the summer, which means they have less protection for their skin in the case of falls or accidents.

Common activities that can result in road rash include:

  • biking
  • skateboarding
  • motorcycle riding
  • baseball or softball
  • running

Most cases of road rash can be treated at home without going to the doctor or hospital. However, you should always monitor injuries for signs of infection or additional damage to the body. Follow these steps to treat your injury:

  1. Wash your hands. If you are caring for your own wound or another person’s wound, you should always wash your hands first. You may have bacteria or other substances on your hand that could cause infection.
  2. Wash the injury. You should then wash the abrasion. Do not scrub the injury with a lot of pressure, as this could cause further damage and bleeding.
  3. 3. Remove debris. You should carefully remove the debris if you notice visible bits of grass, rock, or dirt. Use tweezers if necessary.
  4. 4. Apply antibiotic ointment. Once the injury is clean, you should apply an antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin or Neosporin. This will help kill any bad bacteria that may have come in contact with your wound. Apply the ointment carefully to not cause more bleeding.
  5. 5. Cover the road rash. Covering the injury will help the injury heal and prevent bacteria from coming into contact with the open wound. If you keep the area moist, it will help your skin heal. You can use gauze or other lightweight medical covering.
  6. 6. Keep the bandage fresh. Try to change your covering once or twice a day. If you accidentally get your bandage wet or unusually dirty, you should change it more frequently. If the bandage feels stuck or hurts when you go to remove it, moisten the bandage. You can do this with water or salt water. This should allow your scab to soften to allow the bandage to be removed.
  7. 7. Check for infection. Keep an eye out for infection as the injury heals. If you are experiencing increased pain, pus, redness, or drainage be sure to use antibiotic ointment. If the injury continues to worsen, you should visit a doctor.

Road rash is usually a minor injury, but some cases can require medical attention. See your doctor if your injury fits any of the following conditions:

  • visible muscle or bone
  • large foreign objects embedded in the injury (rocks, glass, or debris)
  • injury covers most of limb or body
  • pus or drainage is coming from wound
  • wound is bleeding excessively

Here are a few tips on how to deal with aggressive drivers, plus helpful hints to reduce your own stress while driving.

Protect yourself

If you are dealing with an aggressive driver, make sure your doors are locked. If you’re stopped in traffic, leave enough room to pull out from behind the car you’re following. If an aggressive driver confronts you, dial 911 or go to the nearest police station.

Don’t take it personally

Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver isn’t. Avoid any conflict, if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and move out of the way! Never underestimate the other driver’s capacity for causing mayhem.

Reduce your own stress

Allow plenty of time for a trip and listen to soothing music when you drive. Make sure your seat position and climate are both comfortable for you. And mostly understand that you cannot control traffic, only your reaction to it. In the end, you may find that personal frustration, anger and impatience are the real danger zones on the highway.

Report aggressive drivers

Some states have a phone number that you can use to report dangerous driving to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Keep the number handy on your cell phone. If you make a call, be sure you give a vehicle description, license number, and the location and travel direction. You could prevent a tragedy.

Be a courteous driver

You can set the example, which can help make our roads safer.

  • Control your anger.
  • Don’t take traffic problems personally.
  • Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver.
  • Don’t make obscene gestures.
  • Don’t tailgate.
  • Use your horn sparingly — even a polite honk can be misinterpreted.
  • Don’t block the passing lane.
  • Don’t block the right turn lane.

Talk to others

Share a recent road rage incident with members of your family and friends, or even with community groups. This will help you better understand the situation and protect you in the future.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

For those planning a holiday road trip or for sports fans that spend most fall weekends tailgating, Cars.com has some news that might spice up drivers’ time on the road or at the game.

Revealed late last week, the site announced it has launched three new custom Pandora branded radio stations.

The stations titled, “Road Trip”, “Car Songs” and “Tailgate” can now be accessed from the car, computer, smartphone and other mobile devices, such as the iPad.

“Pandora is everywhere in today’s world, on the Web, smartphones, iPads and in cars,” said Mitch Golub, Cars.com president. “With this campaign we can help car buyers find not only the right car for the right price but the right mix of music for any car-related occasion.”

So what are these new stations playing?

The company noted that while listening to the “Road Trip” station, users will hear a mix of Southern and classic rock, with “a little bit of country thrown in.” Sample artists include George Strait, the Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana, to name a few.

For those who find themselves behind the wheel most of the day, the “Car Songs” station features music about cars and driving. For example, Johy Mayer’s “Route 66” and Cake’s “The Distance” are just a couple of the songs that might come up.

And lastly, for those who are camped out in the parking lot before the game, the “Tailgate” station features a mix of hip hop, pop, and rock, featuring artists such as Kanye West and The Fugees.

First things first. It’s never a good idea to drive on flooded roadways even when you’re caught unexpectedly in the middle of a trip. If you encounter floodwaters on the road ahead, turn around – don’t drown.

However, unpredictable weather can put you in a dangerous situation fast before you can safely get off the road. If you find yourself driving through water despite your best effort to avoid the situation we have some tips that can help.

Why It’s a Bad Idea to Drive Through Water

When water rushes over a street it can hide dips, debris and roads that have been washed away entirely. It’s not the road you know no matter how many times you’ve driven it.

Six inches of water is enough to hit the bottom of most passenger cars, flooding the exhaust and leaving you immobile. If you cannot walk through water (especially moving water), do not attempt to drive across it. It doesn’t take much for most cars to float. And even the deepest tire tread can’t give you a gecko-like grip that will keep you grounded.

Extra caution has to be taken while driving in the rain or wet weather. Wet roads can cause compromised drivability that increases the risk of deadly accidents. Hydroplaning is a real possibility during and after a good rain. In a flood situation, anything from downed power lines to debris can easily be hidden under the water and harm you without warning.

6 Tips for Driving Through Standing Water as Safely as Possible

Driving through water should always be avoided. If you absolutely must drive over a water-logged road follow the best practices below.

1. Drive Down the Center

What part of the road is the safest to drive on during flood conditions? Forget about lanes and drive down the center. The water tends to be most shallow at the center of the road.

2. Take Turns With Other Cars

Creating a single lane behind other drivers is safer than passing by and splashing water onto passing vehicles. The vehicle in front of you can help move water out of the way so you have a little better traction. Plus, stress is already running high when the roads are wet, there’s no need to add extra frustration to the mix by blasting past people.

3. Only Cross When the Water is Extremely Shallow

Only 15cm (a little over a one-half inch) of water at any speed can cause you to lose control – badly. Never try and cross water that rises above the center of your wheels. That includes puddles.

4. Drive Slowly

The last thing you want to do is drive fast over watery roads. If you do have to cross water on the road enter at 1-2mph then drive at 3-4mph to avoid engine flooding.

5. Drive in Low Gear

Drive in low gear to protect the car. If you’re driving an automatic vehicle, keep the speed low enough to stay in first or second gear. Keep your foot on the gas and use the brake to regulate speed.

6. Dry Your Brakes

Once you get through the water you don’t want to spin out. You can dry your brakes after moving through water by braking lightly while driving very slowly.

Driving Through Moving Water or Floods

Stay out of moving water. Period. Many people have been put in dire situations after thinking they could drive through water that was clearly moving.

Does your SUV make you big enough to cross streams? No. Less than one foot of water will float your vehicle. Two feet can sweep most vehicles away even a heavy, lifted pickup truck.

If your wheels lose grip while driving through water (we told you not to go there), open the door of the car and let water in. You may be starting to float, but the extra water adds weight that will keep you down. If there’s a passenger in the vehicle have them do this so you can take advantage of the (hopefully) restored moment of traction.

What to Do If Your Car Floods

If your car floods do not try to restart the engine. It can cause severe damage. If that damage sets in, you may have to strip the engine. Before the engine is restarted, the plugs and injectors must be removed.

At that point, it’s best to safely exit the vehicle and head toward higher ground since the vehicle shouldn’t be driven even if the water recedes.

Quick Tips for Driving Across Water

Time for a summary! These six quick tips can make all the difference in the world when there’s water on the road.

Never enter water you cannot cross on foot or water 6 inches or midway up your tires. Avoid crossing over moving water in all instances.

Enter the water at 1-2 mph.

Cross the water at 3-4 mph.

Drive in the center of the road, the highest point.

Let cars cross the road one-by-one.

Dry brakes with slow, light taps after exiting the water.

A defensive driving course will teach you more skills that can keep you and your passengers safe during natural disasters and everyday driving. If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding it’s also a good idea to create several evacuation routes that can get you to higher ground.

A new driver may wonder exactly how much distance to keep between their car and the car in front of them. Drivers must always be prepared for the car in front of them to stop, slow down, or encounter unexpected road debris.

Since road conditions and speed obviously play a factor, there is no perfect answer. Under normal driving conditions, a common tool used to determine a proper following distance is the 3-second rule.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

The 3-second rule is a simple way to double-check that you are driving at a safe following distance. Choose a fixed point that is even with the car in front of you. For example, a road sign or a building. If you reach that same fixed point before you can count to three, then you are driving too close to the car in front of you and you need to fall back a bit.

The 3-Second Rule allows for a safe following distance when the road is dry and straight.

If the road is wet, icy, curvy, or visibility is limited, then you need to increase your following distance. When the road is slick, you need to have more room to stop and you also need to be prepared in case the vehicle in front of you skids or suddenly stops.

Ultimately, every driver must be aware of their surroundings and create enough room in case something goes wrong. When on a street with many side roads, you need to anticipate the driver in front of you making a turn. When you approach an intersection, always be prepared for the car in front of you to make a quick stop in case the light turns yellow. When driving around a sharp turn, leave enough room for the vehicle in front of you to break a bit to handle the turn.

Don’t be bothered by other drivers who think you are leaving a gigantic gap. It is your safety and your life. Also, you can get a ticket for following too closely.

Even in traffic you should leave space between you and the vehicle in front of you. You never know if that vehicle will break down and you will need room to get around. You could hit a slippery spot in the road and need some leeway to recover from the slide. If you get bumped from behind, that extra space could save you from also hitting the vehicle in front of you. Just think of how many of those domino-effect accidents could be avoided if people would drive at a safe following distance!

You should also explain what a safe following distance is and why it is important. Discuss how the road conditions and weather would require an increase in following distance.

When you’re on the go, it’s important to back up your travel photos. Here are a few ways to keep those images safe.

Don’t lose your precious photo memories to a misplaced bag or stolen camera. Backing up your photos may seem daunting — especially on vacation — but it’s actually quite simple once you get started.

Remember, the point of any backup solution is to ensure that you have multiple copies of your photos in different locations.

Just having photos stored on an external hard drive and nowhere else does not make for a reliable backup.

Multiple memory cards

This is one of the cheapest ways to manage photos on the road. By purchasing a number of memory cards in different capacities, you can easily categorize certain segments of your trip on separate cards. However, having separate cards isn’t a backup solution in itself; you will still need to make extra copies of your photos in another way to protect against data loss.

Does your camera have multiple card slots? Usually found on higher-end dSLRs, dual slots can be configured to automatically store or copy images on both cards rather than just the one, or to store JPEG images on one card and raw files on the other.

The disadvantage with this solution is that memory cards, particularly SD cards, are small and easy to lose.

If your camera comes with Wi-Fi, consider backing up photos daily to a smartphone or tablet. Otherwise, SD cards such as the Eyefi have the ability to transfer photos wirelessly, and are compatible with most cameras.

Laptops and tablets

Can’t bear to be without your computer? Luckily, it’s an excellent way to back up your photos and videos. An optimal solution would be to create multiple copies of photos by placing one set of images on the computer’s hard drive, and at least one other copy on an external hard drive.

Many photographers even have two external hard drives for redundancy. In case one fails or is lost, you will have at least one other copy of your images.

Transfer images from your SD card to an iPad with one of these tools. Sarah Tew/CNET

An option for those with an iPad is to transfer photos using the Camera Connection Kit, or Lightning to SD card camera reader. The process for Android tablets will vary between devices, but Nexus 7 users can look at CNET’s guide on transferring photos to the tablet here.

Portable backup device

Like to travel light? If a laptop and external hard drive don’t fit the bill, then a portable backup device might be the next-best solution. These devices are a hard drive in themselves, but they also come with features like CompactFlash and SD card slots to transfer photos and videos. Devices like the Nexto DI or the HyperDrive have an LCD monitor to preview images.

Cloud storage

For the photographer with internet access, consider backing up photos to a cloud storage service. There are photo-specific sites like Flickr, but don’t forget services that store a bunch of different file types like Dropbox. Check out our guide to free cloud storage sites for a price and feature comparison.

Not travelling with a PC, Mac or tablet? To get your photos from camera to cloud, invest in a dedicated card reader that you can plug into a computer at an internet cafe. It will make your life much easier than trying to transfer direct from the camera.

Automatic smartphone backup

Not all of your holiday photos will be taken on a conventional camera. Now is the perfect opportunity to start automatically backing up photos taken on your smartphone to the cloud.

There are many different services available, including iCloud for Apple users, Google+ Photos, Dropbox, OneDrive and even Facebook.

Alternatively, for situations when you are without internet access, try a portable hard drive with Wi-Fi such as the Seagate Wireless Plus. Through an Android or iOS app you can send photos and videos from a handset/tablet to the hard drive.

Workflow tips

If you have the luxury of travelling with a laptop, here are some workflow tips to make the most of your backup solution:

  • Set the right time and date in-camera: Doing this means that cataloguing images will be accurate.
  • Get into the habit: For frequent shooters, transfer photos across every day.
  • Catalogue your images: Use a program like Adobe’s Lightroom to organize photos at the end of each day. Import the photos, and then, using the rating star feature, do a quick scan of the shots to determine the best ones. This is also the opportunity to hide or remove any dud shots. For more tips on streamlining your import workflow, read our article on managing Lightroom like a pro.
  • Perform quick edits: Anything that can be fixed easily, like removing red-eye, should be done at this stage. This will make the next sweep of edits that you perform much easier.
  • Tag everything: We all know what it’s like trying to remember where photographs were taken six months after coming back from a trip. Make sure to put quick location information in by applying bulk tags in Lightroom.

Ed Hewitt

Ed Hewitt started traveling with his family at the age of 10 and has since visited dozens of countries on six continents. He wrote for IndependentTraveler.com for more than 20 years, producing hundreds of columns on travel and offering his expertise on radio and television. He is now a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

An avid surfer and rower, Ed has written about and photographed rowing competitions around the world, including the last five Olympic Games.

He’s passing his love of travel on to the next generation; his 10-year-old son has flown some 200,000 miles already.

After a few years on the road, driving becomes almost like walking for most people—something you can do with very little conscious, direct attention. But put that same person in a country that drives on the opposite side of the road than they’re used to, and it requires almost complete concentration to keep from turning their car directly into oncoming traffic. For Americans, that means driving on the left side of the road in places like the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.

The biggest difference is arguably not on the roads, but inside the car—it is like Opposite World in there.

During breakfast at a B&B outside London several years ago, I made a comment about driving on the “right” side of the road; in true British form our host both heard the pun and took a bit of honest umbrage at it. So since SmarterTravel’s readership is global, and the truth is that driving on the left side of the road is not that uncommon (people in some 75 countries worldwide drive on that side), I’ll use the term “opposite” instead of “wrong” side of the road for the following tips.

No good comes from engaging with road rage. Here’s how to handle getting yelled at while cycling.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Spend enough time bike commuting and eventually it’ll happen to you: A passing motorist, irked by your riding style or mere existence on the road, will attempt to engage.

If you’re lucky, this interaction will take the form of a few quick thoughts exchanged about your nighttime visibility, rolling stops, or enviable neon spandex. But more likely, you’ll be on the receiving end of a creatively worded tirade that touches on your right to occupy the street and ultimate worth as a human being.

It’s happened to me so often I’ve written about being a magnet for motorist commentary and projectiles. So what should you do the next time it happens to you?

I spoke with Carl Larson, a long-time advocate at Portland’s Bicycle Transportation Alliance, for expert advice on what to do when a driver yells at you. As cyclists, we’re in the far more vulnerable position in these conflicts, so staying safe—and not escalating with a response—should be your top priority.

“Remember that when you’re dealing with someone yelling at a stranger on the street, you’re not dealing with a rational person,” Larson says. “Responding should be a distant priority after taking note of their license plate in case things get dicey.”

Recognize that you’re not going to change the motorist’s mind by engaging in a street-side yelling match, Larson says—no matter how many witty retorts you’ve got locked and loaded. If you have to respond, resist the urge to ratchet up the tension and instead give the motorist a quick reminder of your humanity.

“I find that nothing pierces a road rager’s balloon quite like simply saying, ‘You scared me,’” Larson says. “And if you can’t resist gesturing, take the upper hand and give a thumbs-up or friendly wave instead of the bird. Just because this person is angry doesn’t mean you have to be.”

So what should you do if a driver gets out of his or her car? Larson says to remember it’s not cowardly to flee a confrontation you didn’t invite. And while yelling at people on the street is generally legal, if you feel physically threatened, get to someplace safe and call the police. Make sure to have a description of the vehicle ready, including the license plate number, if you can get it. And if you see other cyclists experiencing harassment, stick around to provide witness testimony if necessary.

Remember bike commuting is fun—and the best way to keep it that way is to follow the rules of the road and not engage with negativity. And if it helps you keep your cool, consider that you don’t want to do anything to publicly threaten your important second job: street-side ambassador of cyclists everywhere.

Pick up expert safety tips every month with a subscription to Bicycling.

Take the Test — Do You Have Road Rage?

Aggressive driving habits can threaten your safety, the safety of your passengers and others driving on the road. Many people experience some level of road rage while they travel on the road. Dealing with road rage and aggressive drivers involves patience and the ability to remain calm.

See where you stand with road rage — take the quiz now.

Yes or No, Do You .

  1. Overtake other vehicles only on the left?
  2. Avoid blocking passing lanes?
  3. Yield to faster traffic by moving to the right?
  4. Keep to the right as much as possible on narrow streets and at intersections?
  5. Maintain appropriate distance when following other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, etc.?
  6. Provide appropriate distance when cutting in after passing vehicles?
  7. Use headlights in cloudy, rainy, and other low light conditions?
  8. Yield to pedestrians?
  9. Come to a complete stop at stop signs, before right turn on red, etc.?
  10. Stop for red traffic lights?
  11. Approach intersections and pedestrians at slow speeds to show your intention and ability to stop?
  12. Follow right-of-way rules at four-way stops?
  13. Drive below posted speed limits when conditions warrant?
  14. Drive at slower speeds in construction zones?
  15. Maintain speeds appropriate for conditions?
  16. Use vehicle turn signals for all turns and lane changes?
  17. Make eye contact and signal intentions where needed?
  18. Acknowledge intentions of others?
  19. Use your horn sparingly around pedestrians, at night, around hospitals, etc.?
  20. Avoid unnecessary use of highbeam headlights?
  21. Yield and move to the right for emergency vehicles?
  22. Refrain from flashing headlights to signal a desire to pass?
  23. Drive trucks at posted speeds, in the proper lanes, using non-aggressive lane changing?
  24. Make slow, deliberate U-turns?
  25. Maintain proper speeds around roadway crashes?
  26. Avoid returning inappropriate gestures?
  27. Avoid challenging other drivers?
  28. Try to get out of the way of aggressive drivers?
  29. Refrain from momentarily using High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to pass vehicles?
  30. Focus on driving and avoid distracting activities (e.g., smoking, use of a car telephone, reading, shaving)?
  31. Avoid driving when drowsy?
  32. Avoid blocking the right-hand turn lane?
  33. Avoid taking more than one parking space?
  34. Avoid parking in a disabled space (if you are not disabled)?
  35. Avoid letting your door hit the car parked next to you?
  36. Avoid stopping in the road to talk with a pedestrian or other driver?
  37. Avoid inflicting loud music on neighboring cars?

Score Yourself.

Are you an Aggressive Driver or a Smooth Operator? Answering “No” to more questions means you’re a more aggressive driver.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Toll roads can be confusing if you’re from a country where they’re not common. Here’s our guide to using toll roads if you’re driving in a new country for the first time.

What is a toll road?

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

A toll road is a highway, or section of highway, where the user pays a fee for the road’s upkeep and maintenance as they drive on it. Often, toll roads tend to be the faster and less congested routes.

They are common in mainland Europe and the United States, but rarer in the UK.

If someone uses the road without paying the toll, the local highways authority will fine them. If they’re in a rental car, the highways authority will ask the rental company for the driver’s details.

Here are some easy ways to navigate toll roads if you’re driving in a new country:

1) Do a little research

Do a quick check online to find out if the country you’re visiting has toll roads and how they work before you travel. The AA has some useful information.

Toll road types vary from country to country. Some countries have electronic toll roads, some countries still have the traditional ‘person in a booth’ toll roads. And some countries, such as Portugal, have a mixture of electronic toll roads that use tickets or transponders, and manned booths.

2) Check with the highways authority

The highways authority of the country you’re visiting should tell you everything you need to know about tolls in that country. Check with their website as the first port of call.

Portugal, Spain, Italy and the United States of America are known for their peculiar toll road systems. Click the country names to find out more.

3) Check with the rental desk

If you’re hiring a car, the counter staff at the rental company will be able to tell you about local toll roads and how to pay the tolls. In certain countries, they may be able to sell you payment packages.

To find out what to do if you get to a toll booth and don’t have the correct payment, see What if I can’t pay at a toll road?

Aggressive driving can lead to accidents—and compromised coverage

Auto Insurance

IN THIS ARTICLE

Road rage incidents are not only dangerous, they are exempted from coverage by many auto insurance policies. Understand your risks and take precautionary measures to avoid being a victim—or a cause—of aggressive driving accidents.

Crowded highways and traffic backups at times cause drivers to lose control and become extremely aggressive. Road rage is a real problem that can lead to serious accidents or even incidents of violence on the road.

It’s important to realize that road rage is listed as an exemption in many auto insurance policies. This is because any damage or liability stemming from aggressive driving isn’t considered an accident but rather as having been caused by risky behavior.

Rather than risk paying the consequences of road rage—one of which may be not having your auto insurance claim paid—it’s best to avoid a dangerous and costly aggressive driving incident in the first place.

If you encounter an aggressive driver on the road…

  • Stay as far away as possible. Slow down or change lanes if need be, let the driver pass you and give yourself room at intersections to drive away.
  • Record a description of the car and note the license plate number if possible so that you can report him or her to the police for the sake of everyone’s safety.
  • Do not engage with or challenge the offender in any way. Ignore the driver’s rudeness and don’t give into the temptation to react in kind or you might escalate the risky behavior.
  • Put your safety first. If an aggressive driver starts to follow you, keep your doors locked, and head to the nearest police station. Never stop and confront an aggressive driver.

If you have a short fuse yourself stay cool and…

  • Leave plenty of time to get where you need to go. When you’re in a hurry, your patience is short and you are much more likely to become aggravated.
  • Remember other drivers are not annoying you on purpose. People make mistakes or they might be driving more slowly for a reason—they might be lost, or their sight might be impaired by sun glare.
  • Don’t use hand—or single finger—gestures other than a wave to someone who lets you into your lane.
  • Don’t tailgate slow drivers. Hanging on another car’s back bumper is dangerous. If the car in front of you has to stop short and you rear-end it, the accident would be considered your fault.
  • Don’t honk your horn insistently. Leaning on your horn is a bad practice. While it might make you feel better to express your frustration in a traffic jam, it won’t make anyone go any faster, it’s annoying to other drivers and passengers and it increases everyone’s stress level, which may lead to more aggressive behavior.
  • Never stop to confront another driver. It could lead to a dangerous situation for all concerned.

Next steps: Is there a new driver in your home? Read these safety tips for teen drivers.

Story Highlights

  • Simply change lanes and allow other vehicle to pass if a tailgater or reckless driver is near you
  • You should constantly scan roadway, keeping track of vehicles around you and the changing conditions

Question: Is there a good rule to follow if someone is tailgating you or driving recklessly around you?

Answer: The easiest and quickest way to deal with a traffic situation of this nature is to simply distance yourself from the other vehicle.

This does not mean you should drive beyond the speed limit or at a speed beyond your or your vehicle’s capabilities. You should simply change lanes and allow the other vehicle to pass. If the situation is truly excessive and creating a public-safety hazard, you may also consider calling 911 to report the traffic issue and allow law enforcement to handle it.

During this type of incident, you should not follow or put yourself in harm’s way by engaging the other driver. Just try to provide a good description of the vehicle, its occupants and actions in the roadway. You may also be asked to provide contact information or meet with officers to assist in their investigation.

We have all heard the term “road rage.” This is real and has on occasion resulted in tragic consequences for both the offender and innocent bystanders. Avoid getting caught up in these situations at all costs. They simply are not worth the risk.

Finally, consider your own driving habits and where you are best suited to drive on the roadway.

By this I mean passing lanes should be left vacant for just that whenever possible.

If you are more comfortable driving at slower speeds than the vehicles around you, try to stay to the right lanes. This will allow other drivers to pass unfettered.

As with all situations, be aware of your surroundings. You should constantly be scanning the roadway keeping track of the vehicles around you and the ever-changing traffic conditions.

Remember, no matter what your destination or urgency, getting there safely should be Priority 1.

Is Hitting an Object In the Road a Comprehensive or a Collision Claim?

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Every driver is faced with perils while driving. Objects lying in the road or flying in the roadway can be unavoidable. Damage can be severe, leading you to wonder if your car insurance policy will cover the costs of repairing the damage. In most cases, your insurance company will cover you if you have an accident involving road debris. How you’re covered depends on your situation.

Hitting an Object Lying in the Road

Hitting an object lying in the road can cause front-end and undercarriage damage to your vehicle, not to mention inuries to yourself or other passengers. Whether the object is road debris dropped by a pickup truck, a pothole, or a fallen tree, you’re looking at a collision claim.  

To make a collision claim, you need to have opted for collision coverage before experiencing your accident. Collision coverage is optional, and if you opted for state-minimum coverage, you might not have collision coverage.

Expect to pay a deductible when filing a collision claim.   In most cases, hitting an object in the road is considered an at-fault claim, which could affect your car insurance rates in the future.   Unless the damage is minimal, in most cases it’s worthwhile to file a claim.

Getting Hit by a Flying Object

Debris flying out of the bed of a pickup truck or an overstuffed car trunk is handled a little differently as long as it’s still mid-air while you hit it. It’s very common to have a rock fly into your windshield, and flying debris is considered unavoidable. Insurance carriers consider flying debris to be a comprehensive claim.   A deductible still applies.

Comprehensive coverage covers claims that aren’t due to a collision. This includes fires, floods, vandalism, and getting hit by falling or flying objects like road debris. If the damage is to your windshield only, comprehensive is still the corresponding coverage. Some insurance carriers offer separate glass coverage that doesn’t require you to pay a deductible even if the windshield needs to be replaced. It all depends on how your policy is set up.  

Comprehensive claims usually don’t increase your insurance rate as much as collision claims since you’re typically not considered at fault. Many insurance carriers only increase your rates if you’ve filed multiple comprehensive claims.   It’s best to check with your insurance provider to find out if a claim will affect your rate well before something happens.

Deciding Whether to File a Claim

The vehicle that dropped the road debris won’t be held responsible for repairs to your vehicle. Make sure the damage sustained to your vehicle exceeds your deductible enough to make a claim worth filing. If your insurance company considers you to be at fault, you could see an increase in premiums. The amount varies depending on your policy and your insurance company. It is common for a surcharge to last three years or more unless you have accident forgiveness.  

Insurance companies can decide not to renew your claim if you have too many at-fault accidents.   Keep that fact in mind when deciding whether to file a road debris claim. If the damage is minimal or if you’ve had other at-fault accidents in the past couple of years, you may want to pay for the repair yourself. It’s also helpful to ask your insurance agent about the repercussions of being in an accident.

Accident forgiveness policies vary. Ask your insurance company if it offers accident forgiveness and to explain the terms of the coverage.  

Swerving to Avoid an Object in the Road

It’s natural to want to swerve around road debris. You should resist that urge, though, as swerving can lead to even more extensive damage. Swerving to miss an object in the road and losing control can be extremely dangerous. It can also be much more expensive in the long run.

The road debris may only cause minor, manageable damage, but if you hit a guardrail, tree, or another vehicle, there could be extensive damage and injury. Swerving to avoid an object in the road and striking something else instead will be considered an at-fault collision claim. In most cases, you’re better off hitting the debris. Only drive around road debris if you have plenty of time to get around it safely.

Holiday stress getting the best of you?
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How to Handle Holiday Stress

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What’s the solution for this type of stress?

Posted Jan 05, 2013

THE BASICS

If you need proof that we are no longer living in a 24/7 world, but more like a 72/7 world, look around the highway as you drive to and from home, work, or school. The current pace of life finds many of your fellow drivers with eyes locked on their phones and feet stomped on the gas pedal.

These days, it’s hard not to feel like the drivers to your left and right have become more territorial, more aggressive, and just plain meaner when they get behind the wheel. Is this affliction, known as “road rage,” a larger symptom of a general anger problem?

You see it every day on our roads: people speeding, changing lanes with no signal, weaving dangerously across three and four lanes of traffic, passing too closely on either side of your car, speeding up to block you out, not allowing you to change lanes or merge on or off the highway, racing other drivers (i.e., two maniacs who think their car-handling skills are better than they actually are), roaring up behind you as if they might intentionally rear-end you, constant tailgating, horn honking, flashing high beams at your mirror when you are in “their” fast lane, finger flipping, screaming out the window, causing or creating accidents, and even pulling over to fight.

What used to be a largely male problem has crossed gender lines. Women may not get into roadside fistfights or point guns at each other, but they can drive just as aggressively, rudely, and even dangerously. It’s the rare instance when male and female aggression is on display in near-equal amounts. For many men, aggression is supposed to be overt; for women, it is more covert. But put them both behind the wheel, late for something, angry about something else, and in no mood for courtesy, and their behaviors will compare.

What factors cause a usually mild-mannered person to see red? Some people who are ordinarily even-tempered admit that they have a tendency to easily lose control of their emotions when they get behind the wheel. Their fuses are lit when they put their keys into their ignitions.

For some road ragers, it’s a need for control, to counter other drivers whom they feel violate their proxemic space, or it’s a need for possession of their lane or their part of the road. For others, it’s unchecked anger and aggression. It’s hormone-based, primitive, small-brain thinking, bringing a lack of emotional intelligence and the need to dominate someone else and their unsharable space. Add in unchecked egos, the need for superiority, narcissistic pride, and male genital one-upmanship (my vehicle is bigger than yours).

Mental health professionals define certain behaviors as problematic when they have consequences. Road rage, and especially those acts which lead to confrontations, can have significant consequences, including getting cited by the police, being arrested for reckless driving (three or more moving violations in a row), having your license suspended or revoked, losing or raising your auto insurance policy, damaging your car or the other driver’s car, getting sued, or injuring or killing someone in the other car or someone in your car, including your spouse or children. Road rage victims and perpetrators have been pepper-sprayed, stabbed, beaten, run down, and shot by each other.

The minor consequences are that you continue to let one isolated event on the road ruin your whole day or get you a traffic ticket. And don’t discount the not so insignificant matter of embarrassing your family as you act like a spitting, cursing, raving lunatic. If you show that side to your kids too often, they could learn to see that behavior as somehow “appropriate” when they get old enough to drive. Or, just as bad, they think Mom or Dad is an immature idiot.

Solutions are easy to say and often hard to follow. Some people don’t have the will or wherewithal to try to cure themselves, even under the threat of an injury, a crash, a citation, an arrest, or a lawsuit. They suffer from “It’s the other driver’s fault” syndrome.

But one simple answer to road rage is to simply concentrate fully and intently on your own driving, and not to make eye contact or care about the people around you, even when their own skills leave a lot to be desired.

Another easy tool is to practice stress breathing: inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, and repeat the cycle as many times as necessary to bring your pulse rate and blood pressure back to normal levels.

Perspective is an important part of road rage prevention too. You are you. The other driver is the other driver. Only you can let someone ruin your day or push your hot buttons. Focus on being “relentlessly positive,” and realize you can’t control, coerce, or fix other people. You can only manage you. Practice kindness, starting with you first.

WWDLD? What Would the Dalai Lama Do? Go forth down the road, and be yourself, with compassion towards others. Stop caring about your “space.” Tint your windows. Get a subscription to satellite radio, and enjoy your music without commercials. Realize road rage is ridiculous, life-threatening, and not something you have to participate in, ever.

Dr. Steve Albrecht is a San Diego-based speaker, trainer, and author on high-risk HR and security issues.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Event: The 3rd Global Freight Forwarding Conference 2014
Date: 17 – 19 September 2014
Venue: Shanghai, China

Event: RORO Exhibition and Conference
Date: 24 – 26 June 2014
Venue: London, UK

Event:TOC Container Supply Chain: Americas 2014
Date: 14-16 October 2014
Venue:Cartagena, Colombia

Executive Talks

Interview with Milad M Istefanous, Executive Director of Philomina Global Services Co. Ltd.

Philomina Global Head office located at Khartoum City that is well known, and having branches @ Port Sudan (Seaport City), and our modern office systems and all staff to give excellent services to our potential customers and worldwide associates.

Interview with Filipe Garcia, Branch Manager of Inicio transitarios Lda

Since the year 2000 INÍCIO TRANSITÁRIOS has been dedicated with total commitment to the creation of door-to-door transport solutions, regarding maritime and air logistics, on an international basis.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Interview with Ken Zhu,of Coeffort (Shanghai) Logistics & SCM Co., Ltd

Coeffort was established in January 2015, core business of Coeffort is supply chain management and provide professional solutions, including supply chain financing, supply chain design, procurement and distribution, international customs clearance agent, executive stock trusteeship, Department of outsourcing, outsourcing processing and distribution management, supply chain services. I hope our business can do for customers “time Save”, “money Save”, “way touching One”.

Interview with Arturo Chavez, Commercial Manager of Smart Logistics Group

SMART LOGISTICS GROUP is a premier transportation and logistics company, with coverage in SPAIN/EUROPE. Our value-added services portfolio includes import and export freight management, truck brokerage, intermodal, load/mode and network optimization, and global visibility. We provide freight forwarding, customs brokerage, warehousing and all other logistics services.

How to Handle Tailgaters on the Road

Interview with Ordan Cargo, Managing Director of Ordan Cargo Ltd

We are ” ORDAN CARGO LTD” a freight forwarding & logistics company based in Tel Aviv, Israel since 2001 having presences at all main ports ASHDOD/HAIFA/TLV for Import/Export/Cross SEA/AIR. We provide excellent and creative logistics solutions as well as quality service with competitive prices.

Newsletter

ОДХВ±кМв Texters Surpass Tailgaters in Road Rage Report

People who text while driving incur the most anger, according to the 2014 Road Rage Report survey released by Expedia ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Nearly seven in 10 of those surveyed consider The Texter as the most annoying driving behavior, followed by The Tailgater (60 percent), The Multi-tasker (54 percent), The Drifter (43 percent), and The Crawler (39 percent).

Other annoying behaviors included The Swerver (38 percent), The Left-Lane Hog (32 percent), The Inconsiderate (30 percent), The Speeder (27 percent), The Honker (18 percent), The Unappreciative (13 percent), and The Red Light Racer (12 percent). The Inconsiderate doesn’t let others merge, while The Unappreciative doesn’t wave or give a gesture of thanks.

The study also found that 69 percent of American drivers report say they have been “flipped off,” while only 17 percent admitted doing so themselves.

The report listed numerous other findings, including the fact that 55 percent of Americans admit to using their mobile phone at least some of the time while driving; the rudest drivers are found in the largest cities; Americans are generally pessimistic about gasoline prices; Americans treat their rental cars better than their own cars; and mobile apps have replaced printed maps.

The Expedia-comissioned study was completed by Northstar, a research firm that contacted 1,001 Americans with a valid driver’s license. The margin or error was listed as +/- 3.1 percent.