Anyone can feel rage when driving. It is likely that every car owner has an incident they can think of when they were behind the wheel and perhaps yelled at a car that cut them off at an intersection, for example. “Road rage” is a term used to describe aggressive or angry driving practices or behaviors used by motorists. 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.
Florida Statistics on Road Rage You Need to Know
Unfortunately, the Floridian metropolitan areas of Orlando, Miami- Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa- St. Petersburg are ranked all within the top 20 of GasBuddy’s top cities in the U.S. with the most aggressive drivers, making it all the more important to educate yourself on road rage and how to prevent it.
Giving into road rage burns a hole in your wallet. According to GasBuddy, acts of road rage can lower gas mileage as much as 40 percent, costing as much as $477 per year in additional fuel consumption. Practicing aggressive driving maneuvers not only puts your safety and the safety of others at risk, it puts your financials at risk as well.
How To Keep Road Rage Under Control
A study released by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety in 2016 revealed that nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression, or road rage. So remember, the next time you’re on the road and the car in front of you is driving slow, that driver is most likely as angry at another driver in front of them who’s preventing them from driving at a normal speed as you are at them. 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 Road
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 the 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 is injured in a road rage accident, seek medical care immediately. Your health is the number one priority. Additionally, in Florida, in any motor vehicle accident, you have 14 days from the date of the accident to seek medical care for you to be entitled to use your PIP coverage.
If you would like to discuss a potential case with a personal injury lawyer, the experienced attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys are ready to help. Contact us online, or call the offices at 813-534-6319 to schedule a free consultation and find out whether you may be eligible for monetary compensation for your accident.