Many of us are guilty of driving aggressively on occasion. In fact, a study by AAA found that nearly 80 percent of drivers felt anger, aggression or road rage in the past year. Tensions can rise on the road, leading to speeding, tailgating, lane-weaving and cutting off other drivers. But these maneuvers have consequences: more than half of all traffic fatalities are a result of aggressive driving.
Not only can aggressive driving cause accidents, but they also lead to another dangerous behavior: road rage. Road rage is an even more destructive form of aggressive driving, during which a driver purposefully breaks the law or attempts to provoke, intimidate or harm others. Road rage can include shouting, threatening, using obscene gestures or excessive use of the horn. In extreme cases, road raged drivers may resort to violence by chasing another vehicle, deliberately slamming into the vehicle or trying to run it off the road.
One common problem with many drivers is that they don’t realize how their anger and frustration is causing them to drive unsafely. Here are some tips to avoid angry driving:
- Give yourself more than enough travel time to reach your destination.
- If you’re late, call ahead and explain the situation rather than trying to make up lost time on the road.
- Try to adjust your schedule to avoid peak traffic times. Use traffic reports or traffic apps to learn about delays before you’re caught in them.
- Make your vehicle as comfortable as possible. If you find music, podcasts or the radio soothing rather than distracting, listen to them when you begin to feel frustrated.
- Pay attention to the way you sit. Lean back in your seat, hold the steering wheel loosely and avoid grinding your teeth.
- Remember that traffic jams, red lights and the behavior of other drivers are beyond your control. You can only control how you react, and getting angry will not help the situation.
- When driving, you will see people doing illegal, inconsiderate and stupid things. Don’t take other drivers’ actions personally and don’t think that you can teach them a lesson. Responding to aggressive driving with aggressive driving only makes the road less safe.
Even if you manage to avoid driving aggressively, it’s very likely that you will encounter other drivers who show signs of aggressive driving or even road rage. When you are around these drivers, you should take steps to keep yourself safe:
- Avoid offending other drivers. Don’t force them to change directions or slam on their brakes in response to your actions. Always follow the law and be considerate when driving.
- Avoid eye contact with drivers who seem dangerous.
- Remain calm and relaxed, even if an aggressive driver does something that inconveniences you or threatens your safety.
- Move away from an aggressive driver if you can do so safely.
- If a driver starts following you, don’t stop or leave your vehicle. Drive to a police station instead.
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If you are the victim of an accident due to aggressive driving or road rage, you need an experienced car accident attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson for a personal injury lawyer who is dedicated to your case. Schedule a free case evaluation online or call us at: