Road safety and breakdown specialist GEM Motoring Assist is urging drivers to protect themselves against road rage by alerting motorists to early signs of other drivers' behaviour.

The new warning comes after showed that road traffic levels have now risen back up to the pre-coronavirus lockdown levels in recent days.

"Most of us will have some experience of being on the receiving end of someone else’s aggression,"said GEM chief executive Neil Worth. "Thankfully, violent and unprovoked attacks are rare, but it pays to be observant and if possible to recognise signs of trouble at their earliest stages."

Woman in traffic shouting at someone with fist up experiencing road rage

In order to help, GEM has provided a handy list of tips aimed at reducing the risk for a driver of being the target of someone else's road rage: 

  1. Keep calm and show restraint. Every journey brings the risk of frustration and conflict. Make a pledge to be patient. Avoid using your horn or making gestures in anger. 
  1. Avoid competition and resist the desire to ‘get even’. If the standard of someone else’s driving disappoints you, don’t attempt to educate or rebuke them. 
  1. Don’t push into traffic queues. If you stay put and signal clearly, you won’t wait long before another driver lets you in. But no one likes being forced into giving way. 
  1. Say thank you, say sorry. Courtesy encourages co-operation on the road. If you make a mistake (and we all do…) or perhaps cut things a bit fine, then a gesture of apology avoids confrontation and helps defuse anger. 
  1. Move away from trouble. If you feel seriously threatened by another driver, ensure your car doors are locked, then drive (at legal speed) to the nearest police station or busy area (petrol station forecourts are ideal). Use your mobile phone to alert the police. Pressing the horn repeatedly or continuously is likely to deter a potential attacker. 
Young man experiencing road rage in his car

"We encourage drivers to leave plenty of time for their journeys, which means they can feel calm and in control at the wheel," added Worth. "Stress can lead to risk taking, and this in turn increases the likelihood of aggressive incidents. 

"We also urge drivers to avoid becoming involved in situations they recognise as dangerous or risky. If you’re worried about another driver who may be in danger, then stop and call the police."