Teach Your Teen to Handle Aggressive Drivers

Think for a minute about the last time you encountered an aggressive driver on the road. Maybe that person was tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, speeding or running traffic lights.

Chances are you backed off and made sure you were as far away from that person as possible.

But what if your teen driver was in the same situation? Would he or she know what to do?

A recent report from the National Safety Commission offered several tips that all drivers should know and that parents of teen drivers should make sure to share with their child.

So, take a few minutes, sit down with your young driver and talk about what they can do when faced with an aggressive driver.

  1. Get out of the way: Explain to your teen that the first thing to do is move away from the aggressive driver. There’s no telling how high this driver’s frustration level is or what he or she is capable of doing. So, move out of the lane, slow down, pull off the road if necessary. Just steer clear.
  2. Avoid challenging them: One of the worst things a motorist can do when dealing with an aggressive driver on the road is to challenge them. To do so is to put yourself at risk. Talk with your teen driver and let them know not to speed up or confront the aggressive driver and to ignore any inappropriate gestures. Instead, have your teen get out of the way and avoid reacting to anything the aggressive driver does including making direct eye contact.
  3. Report them: Aggressive driving is dangerous and should be reported as soon as it’s safe to do so. Instruct your teen to pull over, call 911 and to provide a description of the vehicle, license tag number, location and direction the driver was traveling. Make sure to emphasize that they shouldn’t call 911 on their cell phone while driving, as that’s dangerous, too. They need to pull off the road as quickly and safely as possible to make the call.
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