Dear Patricia Marie,

My husband's driving is becoming driving increasingly alarming. We are both in our mid-60s and retired, and frequently travel to visit our son and his family some 50 miles away.

Trips with him at the wheel feel dangerous, with him ignoring speed limits and road signs, and crossing lanes with scant regard for other road users. He is terribly impatient and constantly swears loudly. After a car journey, I feel a nervous wreck, yet he seems to get pleasure out of upsetting me. I also worry when he is out driving on his own as he is often fiddling with the radio or adjusting his satellite navigation device. Any attempt to pass comment or discuss this simply meets with hostility, however I approach it.

What can I do?

Patricia Marie says...

Enraged drivers are so out-of-control that they endanger the life and health of their passengers, fellow motorists and pedestrians. Therefore, with your safety and those of others at issue, your husbands erratic driving is an extremely serious problem.

You need to sit down with him at home - don't leave it until you are in the car, and ask him directly about his unacceptable behaviour behind the wheel. Talking about his anger and loss of control, could well prove an outlet for your husbands feelings, rather than him suppressing them until they explode on the road.
How does he handle other difficulties in his life? People who display road rage often have many issues and if addressed could improve their aggression. It's unmanaged stress and emotions that cause bad driving. Could your husband be angry at you, and consciously or not, be using his driving to make a statement? He is failing to show you respect and it seems to me there may be problems within your relationship that need to be sorted. Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for his dangerous driving, and he needs to find new ways to manage his bad temper. I would urge him to make an appointment with his G.P. who can refer him for some anger management.

However, if he gets defensive, dismisses your fears or blames other road users for his attitude, I would make alternative travel arrangements. Just because your husband won't put your safety first, it doesn't mean you can't.