Safety Tips on Road Rage

Road Rage

Road rage and aggressive driving has been around since cars were invented. Although road rage is not a new problem, it has been on the increase and may well continue to do so. One reason for this is the fact that the number of motorists continues to increase while the miles of new roads to accommodate them are not keeping up. Research shows that the average commuter in larger cities spends about 40 hours a year in traffic jams.

Some examples of aggressive driving that can lead to road rage are:

  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 mph.
  • Running red lights and stop signs.
  • Turning right on red without stopping.
  • Excessive tailgating.
  • Driving in the left lane continually, blocking the passing lane.
  • Making hand gestures at other drivers.
  • Unnecessary use of high beam headlights.
  • Unnecessary use of the horn.
  • Abrupt and frequent lane changing.
  • Failure to use turn signals.

Tips on avoiding road rage:

  • Avoid cutting off other drivers in traffic.
  • Don’t tailgate. Allow at least a two second space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Signal well in advance before changing lanes or turning.
  • Avoid gestures or eye contact with other drivers.
  • Dim headlights as soon as you know you are going to meet another vehicle.
  • Allow ample time to reach your destination.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Drive in the right lane except when passing.
  • Come to a complete stop at stop signs and don’t try to beat traffic signals.
  • Don’t block intersections.
  • If someone follows you after an on–the-road incident, drive to a public place or to the nearest police station.
  • Report all aggressive driving incidents to the police as soon as possible.

Keeping these tips in mind hopefully will make you less likely to be involved in a road rage incident which could result in an accident and injury.

What to Do if You Are Stopped by a Police Officer

Police officers must continually engage citizens during the course of their duties. Law enforcement officers are trained how to do so safely, efficiently, and effectively. A problem can occur, however, when citizens do not know how to react and respond when approached or engaged by a police officer. 

Why would a police officer want to talk to me?
Police officers work off information provide by citizens and their own observations. There are a variety of reasons an officer would want to question you.

  • Checking out a complaint phoned into 911 by someone in your neighborhood.
  • A crime has just occurred in the area you are in or live in.
  • You could be a possible witness.
  • You might fit the description of the suspect.
  • Another citizen pointed you out as a witness or a suspect.
  • Officers' observations may lead them to think you need assistance or are acting suspicious.
  • A routine traffic stop.

If you are not sure why you are being stopped, ask politely at the appropriate time. Keep in mind that some investigations are time sensitive and the officer might not have time to explain things to you.

Tips for when you are stopped by a police officer

  • Respectful forthright responses usually resolve the situation faster.
  • Avoid sudden unexplained movements.
  • Keep your hands visible at all times. Do not put them in your pockets.
  • If in a vehicle, pull over safely out of the flow of traffic.
    • At night, turn on your interior light in the vehicle.
    • Do not get out unless told to do so.
    • Place your hands on the steering wheel.
  • Remain calm and ask permission for whatever movements you're going to make before moving.
  • Do not argue. Guilt or innocence can only be determined in court.

Following these few tips can lead to proper communication with an officer and less likelihood of problems that could be easily avoided. Always remember that police officers prepare for the worst to happen and initially treat all situations as if the worst was about to happen. This helps keep both officers and citizens safe. 



Centennial Lakes Police Department - 54 North Road - Circle Pines, MN 55014
Office: 763.784.2501 - Fax: 763.784.0082 - Dispatch/911: 763.427.1212