Road rage accidents are far too common, yet you rarely see them coming. They’re a consequence of aggressive driving, itself a result of several factors related to the stress many people experience while driving.
This stress often causes feelings of anger and frustration while driving. In turn, these feelings can lead to distracted, aggressive driving and even accidents. Let’s look at some of the common forms and causes of aggressive driving and road rage.
Common Forms of Aggressive Driving and the Factors That Contribute to Road Rage Accidents
According to one survey, almost 80% of drivers engaged in some form of aggressive driving or road rage in the last year. These forms include
- Making rude gestures
- Honking in anger
- Cutting off other drivers deliberately
- Trying to block other drivers from changing lanes
- Ramming or bumping another vehicle deliberately
- Getting out of one’s vehicle to confront another driver
Such behavior can have serious consequences. One analysis found that aggressive driving and road rage played a role in more than half of all fatal auto accidents over a five-year period. Several factors contribute to it:
- Traffic Delays. Drivers tend to get angry when they experience delays at stoplights, in traffic, or as they look for a parking space.
- Running Late. The impatience and anxiety associated with running late for a meeting or appointment can affect drivers’ behavior.
- Strangers. When drivers believe they’ll never see the other drivers again, they’re more comfortable behaving aggressively toward other drivers.
- Disregard for the Law and Etiquette. Some drivers believe they’re exempt from the rules.
- Learned or Habitual Driving Behavior. Aggressive driving is the norm for some drivers.
Given how frequently incidents of aggressive driving occur and how dire their consequences may be, it’s wise to ensure that you have adequate auto insurance to protect yourself and your property.
How to Avoid Road Rage
Learning to manage your time and emotions effectively is a big step to avoiding road rage and aggressive driving. Give yourself enough time to get to your destination. If time runs out on you and you become upset, learn techniques for calming yourself down.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind as you drive.
- Be patient with other drivers. Don’t allow circumstances and your feelings about them to influence your driving behavior.
- Use appropriate hand gestures. Rude hand gestures are often unhelpful and usually invite aggression from other drivers.
- Don’t tailgate. Maintain a safe distance with the vehicle ahead of you; tailgating will not make the traffic move faster.
- Ease up on the honking. Pounding your horn furiously is not only ineffective in improving the situation; it fuels you and other drivers’ stress.
- Don’t confront other drivers. Never step out of your vehicle to have at it with other drivers. Doing so rarely leads to a positive outcome.
If another driver behaves aggressively toward you
- Don’t reciprocate. Resist the urge to respond to match the other driver’s aggression because that often escalates the situation.
- Don’t stop. An extremely aggressive driver might interpret your stopping as an invitation for a confrontation, which may become dangerous.
- Drive away. Create distance between you and the aggressive driver by slowing down, changing lanes, or exiting the highway.
- Drive to safety. If an aggressive driver steps out of their vehicle to confront you, lock your doors and shut your windows. If they follow you, drive to the nearest police station.
These tips will help you avoid engaging in aggressive driving and road rage. Following them also reduces the likelihood of you becoming a victim of this behavior and its consequences.
In Case Road Rage Overtakes You
Sometimes our feelings get the best of us and we somehow find ourselves in the situations we seek to avoid. If the situation escalates into a road rage accident, it’s in our best interest to have the contacts of an attorney who has experience in successfully dealing with cases of car accidents. In case you are a victim of a road rage incident call 713-552-1117.
[JR1]Do you want to mention the attorney they can call?