Calm down, calm down

Is this you in your car?

No of course it isn’t. You’ve got dark hair haven’t you?

However, if you think it could be the driver of the car that’s just cut you up, or the person who flashed a rude sign at you, take care.

Because that, say road safety and breakdown cover specialist GEM Motoring Assist, could be the first step towards disaster.

GEM’s Neil Worth said: “Most of us will have some experience of being on the receiving end of someone else’s aggression.

“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.”

Now GEM has identified five steps that will hopefully reduce the risk of a driver of becoming the target of someone else’s aggression: They are:

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 angry gestures.

2 Avoid competition and resist the desire to “get even”. If the standard of someone else’s driving infuriates you, don’t attempt to respond.

3 Don’t push into traffic queues. If you wait and clearly signal, it won’t be long before another driver lets you in.

4 Say thank you, say sorry. Courtesy encourages co-operation on the road. If you make a mistake (and we all do) or cut things a bit fine, then a gesture of apology avoids confrontation and helps defuse anger.

5 Move away from trouble. If you feel seriously threatened by another driver, then ensure your car doors are locked and drive to the nearest police station or busy area (petrol station forecourts are ideal). Use your mobile phone to alert police. Pressing the horn repeatedly or continuously is likely to deter a potential attacker.

Neil Worth adds: “We encourage drivers to leave plenty of time for their journeys, which means they can feel calm and in control at the wheel.

“Stress can lead to risk taking, and this in turn increases the likelihood of aggressive incidents.

“We 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 police.”