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Road rage and RVing: Don’t be a roarin’ rager!

Mr. and Mrs. RVer happily start out on a trip they’ve planned for months. The rig is packed, fueled up, and ready to hit the highway. As the excited couple merges into traffic, it happens. A guy in a beat-up SUV honks and gestures angrily at the RVers as he passes them. Then, the SUV abruptly pulls in front of the RVer’s Class B. He stomps on his brakes and slows to a crawl right in front of the would-be vacationers.

And so, it begins…  Mr. RVer has two choices. If he decides to ignore the road rage, the trip may continue as planned. However, if Mr. RVer decides to return the SUV guy’s honks along with some hand gestures of his own, this trip could take an unplanned detour.

The statistics are sobering. According to DriversEd.com: Road rage is the cause of nearly 1 in 3 crashes. About a third of crashes can be linked to road rage behaviors such as speeding, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating and illegal maneuvers.

Adding to the danger is that more than one-third of road rage incidents involve at least one driver with a firearm in their vehicle. (Source: DriversEd.com) Yipes! Can RVers prevent road rage in others? Maybe.

Here are some road rage tips for you:

  • Obey traffic rules. This includes using your turn signals when required. And remember to turn off the signal after you change lanes!
  • Allow plenty of time and space to turn onto a highway. The same goes as you merge into moving traffic. Safely accelerate to the speed limit (if possible) before you merge.
  • Drive in the right lane except to pass in the left lane. This is especially important if you travel at or below the posted speed limit. (Exception: When you must exit from the left lane.)
  • Be extra cautious when traffic is merging/turning into your lane. Many folks like to “get ahead” of RVs. Be ready for cars to try and squeeze in ahead of you. Slow down and let them, if you safely can.
  • Know your route in advance. That way, you won’t need to make sudden lane changes, which can frighten or irritate other drivers.
  • If you’re uncomfortable driving at higher speeds on interstates, consider taking state highways. (Bonus: You’ll experience the local folks, hometown diners, and attractions.)

What to do if someone rages at you:

  • Avoid eye contact. Focus on the road ahead and take deep, calming breaths.
  • Forget it. Drive on. (F.I.D.O.) The only person you can control is yourself. Choose to ignore bad behavior.
  • Avoid honking or retaliating in any other way (even when you really want to!).
  • Give the road-rager plenty of space, if possible.
  • Relax your grip on the steering wheel. Unclench your jaw muscles, too.
  • If someone is tailgating, move over (if you safely can) and let them pass.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if the road-rager poses an imminent threat.
  • If you’re followed by the road-rager, drive to the police station. Do not go home or stop somewhere to work things out.

Be sure you are road ready

  • Get good rest before starting your trip. Tired folks are more easily agitated and angered.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Feeling pressure to “get there in time” can cause you to make poor driving choices and possibly instigate your own road rage.
  • Avoid trigger foods – those that make you jittery or anxious.
  • Listen to an audiobook or music you enjoy. Keep your vehicle temperature comfortable, too.
  • Talk or think about the fun things you’ll do on vacation. Stay upbeat, relaxed, and happy.

Have you experienced road rage while RVing? Tell us about it in the comments below, please.

RELATED

A sad story of road rage. Why is everyone still so angry? 

##RVDT1673

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Roger Marble
1 month ago

I’ve made 4 trips across the US in my Class-C. I set the cruse at 62 and stay in the right lane. I always signal if I have to move over (exit from left lane for example) I flash headlights to let truckers know it’s OK for them to come back over. About 1/2 of the truckers signal “Thanks” with a flash of running lights. Never had anyone try a “brake check” on me BUT as a defensive move I now run a dash cam which can be used with insurance company or in court if needed. I’m not in a rush and responding to idiot drivers is never going to make me feel better.

Roger V
1 month ago

LoL! “….pulls in front of the RVer’s Class B…” is your example? My Class B Winnebago Travato campervan can zip right up to 60-70 on any entrance ramp and ride along at 70 all day long. We definitely don’t inspire any road rage on any entrance ramp.

Last edited 1 month ago by Roger V
tom
1 month ago

Have front video cam, and ready to install one as rear view video on towd. Do not make any statement about having video with out legal help.

Joe
1 month ago

We are retired and drive a 42 foot motor home, so I’m not in a big hurry, drive just below posted speed, and leave plenty of time to get to our next destination. What I have learned over the years is that many people do not drive defensively, many are in a hurry just to get to the red light ahead, many are just ignorant drivers, many people exceed road speed posting at dangerous speeds (includes way too many RVers), many are distracted talking and texting (had one young women almost side swipe us while texting at highway speed). However most issues we have on the highways are with people not yielding coming into traffic and the major culprits are truckers causing us to come to an almost complete stop more than once because of nowhere else to go. Because of numerous close calls with drivers not yielding I will travel in the middle lane if available when near large cities or heavy traffic. And yes I also use a dash cam with the widest viewing.

Kamwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Yes, it seems like the second lane from the right is easier on long stretches of four-lane freeway so that you don’t have to deal so much with the ‘mergers’.

Donald N Wright
1 month ago

I apologize to truckers. I was one of the guys who slipstreamed them, too close to see their mirrors. Now I have folks on my rear bumper, I never notice them until I look in my rearview mirror and see an extra shadow. Perhaps I should mount a cheap television on my rear bumper with a dvd player, and play awful trashy movies…

Bob
1 month ago

This is one reason I have a dashcam. It happened to us,though not pulling our trailer, not once but 4 times with the same person. I called the emergency number posted on the highway, told them what went on and that I have a video of the situation.
10 miles down the road, the car was pulled over by the state police. I received a return call saying they did not need my video. They had a helicopter in the air. The person had been doing this for over 30 miles.

Dana
1 month ago

Fortunately, we haven’t had any road rage experience while RVing (I’ve had many in my personal vehicle). I wanted to offer a tip that I didn’t see here…
If we know that our route will take us thru or near a city on a weekday, we will plan our drive to avoid the dreaded ”rush hour.” If it cannot be avoided, due to timing restraints, we will take a by-pass if available (not a perfect solution, but often less crowded).

Glen Cowgill
1 month ago

I live on the outskirts of Miami, I see road rage everyday, I see and hear of incidents involving guns each and every day. It is only going to get worse as more people are thrown into the mix everyday. The most common cause of road rage appears to be the driver in the left lane not even keeping up with the speed limit let alone passing someone.
It is evident that the police are not doing their job when it comes to enforcing our traffic laws. Speed limits seem to no longer apply. If you try to move with traffic, you will find yourself, early in the morning or late at night. doing 85-90mph. Then you come upon the guy or gal in the left lane doing 40mph in a 70mph zone. Totally unsafe.
This article, without the RV emphasis, needs to be written in every language and distributed to every driver but, it won’t, People need to be reminded of the rules of the road especially slower traffic keep right.

Bob p
1 month ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

Agree, and I believe FL was the first state to pass the law keep right unless passing, your governor needs to order the police to enforce the law as well as all the other states that have similar laws. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving the speed limit, if someone is driving faster you mover over and let them pass.

Ernie Powell
30 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

In my option I think all drivers should take the drivers test over again & see if they still remember the law of the road, maybe there would be less accidents.

Randy
27 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

“It doesn’t matter if you’re driving the speed limit,…” That about says it all. Perhaps the left lane should ONLY be for those driving the speed limit. Or, change the speed limit. Or, change the name to “Speed Suggestion”.

Dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

If the situation is like it is where I live, it’s not the police avoiding their job. Prosecutors looking for bigger fish to fry, and spineless judges have taught law enforcement to not waste too much time trying to enforce traffic laws.

Roger V
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

Bingo! No point wasting resources stopping people, or even arresting them for burning and looting, if they’re just going to get the case tossed with no consequences.

Lisa Adcox
1 month ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

I lived in Hollywood, FL and you are correct about Miami and South FL as far as traffic rage. They love their horns. We were at an exit and seen a guy get out of car with gun over a traffic mess . Scary incident. Experienced more road rage down there than any place we have been.

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