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Aggressive drivers on the rise

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study last summer which estimates nearly 80 percent of drivers have expressed anger and aggression when behind the wheel. Minor frustrations on the road, such as bad traffic or running late, can lead to deadly consequences when stress is not managed correctly. Road rage might be something as simple as purposefully tailgating or making an angry gesture, but it becomes more serious when a driver bumps or rams into another vehicle on purpose or gets out of a vehicle to confront another driver.

What can you do to avoid an accident in a road rage situation?

When you are on the road in a situation with another driver who appears to be angry or aggressive, you should never engage with the other driver. You do not know what that person will do. AAA recommends taking these steps to avoid road rage accidents:

  • Do not escalate the situation. Do not cause the other driver to change direction or speed. If a person is tailgating, do not tap your brakes to cause that driver to respond.
  • Do not take the situation personally. The other driver may be having a bad day. Let the other person get around your car.
  • Practice safe driving habits. Be kind and courteous on the road.
  • Do not respond. Do not make any gestures in return. Avoid eye contact with the other driver. Try to put some space around your vehicle. Call 9-1-1 if you believe the situation warrants it.

Do not be the aggressor

Anger is a normal emotion that many people experience, especially when driving in tense conditions, such as traffic jams or construction, but you cannot let your emotions lead to bad choices. If you are driving and feeling aggressive, it might be time for a break in driving. Get off the road if you can. Remember that the other drivers are in the same situation, and it might not be of their choosing. Breathe and relax. Focus on getting to your destination safely.

If you are injured in a road rage accident, take the same steps you would for any accident. Keep in mind that you may not want to confront the other driver alone. Get as much information about the other driver as you can in case the person does drive off. Seek medical help for anyone who is injured. Contact law enforcement to make a report. Talk to an experienced car accident attorney about your injuries and your rights.

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