If you have ever felt frustrated or lost your temper while trying to navigate through traffic, you are certainly not alone. Approximately 80 percent of American drivers confess that they have engaged in aggressive driving behaviors within the last year, according to AAA. Furthermore, male motorists are three times more likely than women motorists to be aggressive while behind the wheel. Not only does aggressive driving endanger the life of the motorist, but everyone else on the road as well. Nearly 56 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents were caused by at least one form of aggressive driving. If you encounter someone with road rage, it is essential you understand how to handle the situation.
Common indicators of an aggressive motorist include the following:
- Speeding and/or racing other drivers
- Erratic lane changing and cutting off other drivers
- Using profanities or obscene hand gestures
- Constant horn honking
- Following too closely behind another vehicle or tailgating
- Failing to yield to other drivers’ right of way
Motorists with road rage may move from verbal comments to physical force toward other drivers. In order to prevent this from happening, there are certain things you should do if you happen to encounter an aggressive driver. First, avoid exchanging comments, using hand gestures or making eye contact with the aggressive driver. This may keep the situation from escalating further. Next, it is important to notify the law enforcement department, and make them aware of the matter at hand. This allows them to intercept and hopefully prevent a catastrophic accident from happening.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.