You may have experienced road rage yourself or witnessed it in other drivers. When a driver is upset by the behavior of another, the aggressive, angry behavior that results is road rage. It can also be provoked by others who share the road, such as bicyclists or pedestrians.
Road rage is a significant problem, and it is getting worse. Over a five-year period from 2003 to 2007, it was a factor in 56% of all fatal accidents. Since 2004, there has been a tenfold increase in fatal accidents involving road rage, and over half of all drivers feel threatened by it.
The following are some tips for preventing road rage in yourself and avoiding other drivers that may be experiencing it.
1. Don’t Drive Angry
If you are already in an agitated state, it is easier for a minor aggravation to escalate into road rage. Therefore, whenever possible, you should avoid getting behind the wheel when you are already upset.
2. Take Your Time
If you’re nervous about being late, minor difficulties can frustrate and anger you. Whenever possible, give yourself time to deal with any delays that may come up. It is easier to stay calm if you know that you have plenty of time to deal with whatever situations may arise.
3. Give Some Space
In the first place, don’t tailgate other drivers or engage in behaviors that could be provoking. Secondly, if you observe signs of aggression in another driver, e.g., speeding, honking, flashing lights, etc., stay out of that driver’s path. Slow down and change lanes, if possible, so that the way is clear for the other driver to do what he wants to do.
4. Don’t Escalate the Situation
If another driver does something aggressive, such as honking or making rude hand gestures, don’t reciprocate. If you respond in kind, the situation could turn into a violent confrontation. You cannot control the other driver’s behavior, but you can choose not to behave in a way that could provoke hostility. Even making eye contact with an aggressive driver could be taken as a challenge and should be avoided if possible.
5. Ask for Help When Needed
If you observe aggressive behavior in another driver, you do not have to deal with it alone. You can report them to the police.
Despite these preventative measures, it is not always possible to avoid an accident due to road rage. If you have been injured by an aggressive driver, a car accident lawyer in Des Moines, IA, such as from Johnston Martineau, LLP, may be able to help you with your case when you contact a law office.