Counselor Tips On Handling Road Disputes

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My dad had some of the craziest road stories. He said that a younger guy on the freeway kept trying to race with him in broad daylight one time. He held a steady pace initially, not minding the guy, but the latter kept moving from side to side and pissed off my dad, causing him to rev up to get away from him. However, the guy could not take a hint and did the same thing. Unfortunately, his sedan was no match for dad’s sports car, and the guy ended up hitting the road barrier.

Then, another time, dad was apparently sitting in the traffic with the rest of the people during a rush hour when he noticed that the two cars in front of him kept honking each other. It was evident that they were only doing that to each other because no one else was honking. As it turned out, the driver, who was two cars away from dad, was taking his sweet time inching forward, even if everyone was doing that. The guy right in front of my dad was pissed because of it. After 30 minutes, the guy in front got out of his car and knocked on the other man’s window. Long story short, they had a brawl in the middle of traffic, much to everyone’s dismay.

Of course, I could not also forget the time when my dad was mistaken as a robber. He said that the police started chasing him as soon as he veered off the main highway. Dad assumed that they were going after someone else, so he began to weave in and out of cars to avoid seeing all that drama. However, the police interpreted it as his way of running away from his crimes. They had to Barricade the next exit to make my father’s vehicle stop. They only let him go after two hours of calling everyone that Dad was with the entire day, ensuring that he was genuinely not the culprit they were running after.

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From A Counselor’s Standpoint 

 Whenever I heard my father’s stories when I was a child, I was impressed by all of them. I happened to be a fan of action movies at the time, so it made me feel like my dad was a star. I was like, “Cool, Dad! What other kickass stories do you have for me?”

Back then, I did not think that such situations could have been traumatizing for my father and the other drivers who witnessed or experienced them. After all, cars are considered a necessity for most – if not all – of us, even though we all know deep inside that they can also be uses to take our lives. While it sounded dark even in my head, that was the reality.

Imagine if my dad was hot-headed when the man in the first story tried to pick a fight with him on the road, he could have pulled over to the side and started punching the guy in the face. Worse, he could have had a gun and used it on the stupid driver.

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As for the second story, the fistfight could have been worse, too. The two guys could have taken out baseball bats or even guns from their cars and started whacking or shooting at each other. It was cool in my dad’s mind, but if a young mom with a baby witnessed that up close, she could have been scared out of her mind because things could have escalated further.

Regarding the car chase moment that my dad experienced, the robber they mistook him for turned out to be a petty criminal who robbed a deli downtown. However, I could not fathom what would have happened if it was a big-time criminal, and there was a shoot-to-kill order for that guy. Instead of shooting the actual offender, they would have shot my father during that chase, and I would not be here.

How To Handle Road Disputes

  • Do a quick meditation before leaving the car. As you park your vehicle on the side, feel free to do a two-minute meditation to make your anger subside. Doing so will create more room for reason in your head.
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  • Walk out of your car at a calm pace. There is something about a person’s posture that can heighten or reduce someone’s anger. For instance, if you walk aggressively, others may assume that you are ready for a fight. However, if you walk slowly and match it with words like, “Let’s talk about what happened,” it may keep the other person from trying to fight with you.
  • Make sure that there is a law enforcer present before confronting the other driver. Having a law enforcer as a mediator tends to make most people calm, especially when they know that there’s someone in the scene who can put them to jail for misconduct or another violation. This is for your protection, as well as the other person.

Final Thoughts

Road disputes are inevitable, no matter how good or the kind you are as a driver. However, it should never turn into a brawl or another form of violence if you don’t let emotions push logic out of the way.

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