Don’t drive to close to me

Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week he looks at how to avoid conflict on the road.

The things that other drivers do that annoy you are usually mistakes, not deliberate. Give them the space you would like yourself to sort an error out.

The horn is there simply to get others’ attention and let them know that you are there. If someone else uses it to express annoyance, don’t join in, just let it pass.

If you spot an oncoming vehicle approaching which still has its full beam on, consider that this is probably a case of forgetfulness on the part of the driver – retaliating by switching your full beam on would only increase risk.

Set an example by giving way at busy junctions or allowing traffic to merge into your lane when necessary – for example, at a motorway junction.

If another road user is driving threateningly, try to maintain extra distance between your car and theirs. Try not to react by accelerating, braking or swerving suddenly, as this will reduce your car control, and probably wind up the other driver.

Planning as far ahead as possible puts you in the best stead to predict other people’s actions and mistakes on the road, allowing you to cope with them more easily.

Rodger said: “Even the best drivers make mistakes, so try and cut people some slack when they do so. Road rage doesn’t improve the situation, and puts you, your passengers, and other road users around you at risk. The best thing is to stay calm and continue to drive sensibly as not to worsen the situation.”