Road rage can strike on any street at any time of day. The best practice is to know how to keep calm in stressful driving situations and how to handle an aggressive driver. Your safety is your number one concern! Never retaliate or take the other driver’s action personally. It is never about “getting even.”
While you cannot control the actions of the drivers around you, you can control your reaction to them. Remain calm. Keep your cool.
Do not allow a stranger you will likely never see again dictate your mood for you. An aggressive driver is merely expressing their frustration or inability to cope. Do not personalize the issue or allow it to ruin your day.
Mistakes happen. Consider the other driver just made a mistake. Be polite and courteous. Your ability to understand and forgive benefits your own mood. Keep a cool head.
Avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver. Refrain from making rude gestures. Use your horn for emergencies. Avoid confrontation. It is just traffic and that driver will be out of your life soon.
Protect yourself. If confronted by an aggressive driver ensure your doors are locked and your windows are up. Leave enough room to pull out from the car in front of you. Call 911 or drive to the nearest police station.
It is not your job to teach, punish or confront an aggressive driver. If you witness something you think is road rage, call the police and leave it to them. You may prevent a tragedy.
Set an example by being a courteous driver. Control your frustration with traffic. Drive the speed limit. Do not tailgate, block the passing lane or cut off other drivers. Be respectful of other drivers and treat them as you want to be treated.
Minimize stress before your trip. Give yourself plenty of time to get there. Listen to music you enjoy. Adjust your seat, mirrors and the temperature in the vehicle for your comfort and safety.
In-car distractions are popular than ever. Lit-up screens, phones clenched between chin and shoulder, GPS systems, tablets and more have found their way to the front seat of many cars. As great as it can be to stay connected all the time, it's a hazard to every single person on the road with you. This is why there is a distracted driving law that is consistently enforced.
Keep your phones away from you while you're driving. It's not worth the risk.
Reporting a distracted driver:
The public should not call 911 to report distracted drivers unless there is a significant risk and the driver is displaying erratic behaviour. Members of the public can report a distracted driver to their local Community Station. The complainant must be able to identify the driver, vehicle and be willing to testify as a witness in court.
For more information, see our Distracted Driving page.
Curb the Danger
Sadly as long as there are people who choose to drink and drive, there will be a need for the Curb the Danger program. Those who have the propensity to drink and drive should realize that in addition to the Police, the citizens of Edmonton are on the lookout for impaired drivers.
If you suspect an impaired driver, call 9-1-1! Report the last direction of travel of the suspect vehicle, make of vehicle and a license plate. If you are calling to report a suspected impaired driver, you are exempt from the distracted driving law.
For more information, see our Curb the Danger page.
Children in Vehicles
Whether it is a hot August day, or a typical winter wonderland in January, or any day in between, NEVER leave your children alone in a vehicle. If you see a child left alone in a vehicle and appears to be in distress, call 911. See our Children in Vehicles page for more.
The EPS, along with other agencies (policing and health), hold a number of child safety seat checks throughout the year to inspect for child safety seat infractions. Approximately a dozen checks are scheduled throughout the year. Inspections take a few minutes to complete and feedback is provided.
For more information, see our Child Restraints page.