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3 steps for handling drivers with road rage

Driving is risky enough with weather hazards, poor road conditions and potential auto defects. Factoring in driver error makes hitting the road even more dangerous, and adding intense emotions is the last straw.

Unfortunately, road rage is a common occurrence across the nation. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study that revealed 80 percent of drivers were guilty of at least one instance of aggression or anger a year, with a portion expressing their rage through extreme measures. Numbers also show a sharp increase in road rage incidents involving guns, reports the New York Times. With such a high risk of facing another driver's road rage and the possibility of deadly consequences, you need to know what to do in this type of situation to avoid accident and injury. Just remember these three Rs:

1. Remain calm

You may feel frustrated, angry or scared by the aggressive behaviors of others, but reacting out of those emotions can cause things to escalate. Do not respond with your own vengeful tactics, not even something as seemingly minor as a dirty look or purposeful deceleration. Breathe deep and change the radio station to some relaxing music to help you calm down. If the motorist begins to follow you, pull into a safe place, such as a fire station or crowded parking lot.

2. Report the driver

While you should not confront the driver, you should report the person to the police. Pull over before calling law enforcement. Explain the aggressive action and any threats or harm you received. Give as many identifying details as you can, including the direction the vehicle is headed.

3. Reach out to a lawyer

Sometimes, road rage leads to vehicular damage and/or bodily injury. Depending on the severity of the incident, both your physical and mental health may suffer. You need to speak to an attorney about holding the person responsible.

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