“Road rage” is a term used to describe aggressive driving practices used by people who become easily irritated or impatient while behind the wheel. Acts of road rage may include cutting off other drivers, shouting, horn-honking, and other reckless behavior. Road rage may also involve reacting strongly to other drivers behaving aggressively while driving, such as beeping the horn at someone who cuts you off in traffic.
Road Rage Can Lead to Tragic Outcomes
According to findings published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Monitor on Psychology, drivers with road rage end up in double the number of traffic accidents as drivers who do not experience road rage. Not all road rage incidents occur by accident; however, statistics made available by the American Safety Council showed that more than 200 murders resulted from road rage over a period spanning seven years.
Road rage incidents are preventable
Practicing the golden rule is one way to prevent road rage incidents while driving. Instead of being angry when someone makes a mistake while driving, be empathetic and treat the driver who has angered you as you would like to be treated if you had made a mistake. What else can you do to prevent road rage from taking root? Here are some tips:
- Take a deep breath and try to calm down rather than flare up.
- If you become too agitated to drive safely, pull over and do not drive again until you are calm.
- Plan ahead to avoid being in a rush. Backed-up traffic when you’re already running late can cause a panic and the need to get others out of your way.
- Be considerate of other people on the road. Use your vehicle’s turn indicators to show other drivers your intentions, and avoid trying to speed up to get ahead in zipper merge situations.
- Do not accelerate when you see a yellow traffic light. Remember: yellow means “slow down,” not “speed up.”
How to Handle Aggressive Drivers On the Roadway
Knowing how to avoid experiencing road rage yourself is only half the battle. When someone else on the roadway is driving under the influence of rage, you need to know how to defend against that driver’s recklessness.
- Do not attempt to keep pace with the aggressive driver. If someone speeds past you in a reckless manner, keep your cool and resist retaliation.
- Consider the safest course of action and then take it. If someone else on the road is weaving in and out of traffic dangerously, avoiding that driver is likely the safest thing to do.
- If someone is driving aggressively in a way that is illegal and a threat to other drivers on the road and you suspect that driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, pull over to safety and call the police.
- Do not attempt to have a discussion with a driver experiencing road rage. If such a driver attempts to engage you, do not talk back or acknowledge the other driver in any way.
What to Do If You Are in a Road Rage-Related Accident
If you or someone you know are injured because of a road rage accident, seek medical care immediately. If you would like to discuss a potential court case with a lawyer, the experienced attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys are ready to help. Contact us online, or call the offices at 813-915-1110 to schedule a free consultation and find out whether you may be eligible for monetary compensation as a result of your accident.