Aggressive drivers are dangerous, and road rage can lead to severe incidents. When on the road, it’s crucial to stay aware of how other drivers act and react. Read Greathouse Trial Law’s blog to learn how to avoid road rage accidents.
What is road rage?
Before discussing how to avoid road rage accidents, we must first define the term and understand how it overlaps with aggressive drivers. Aggressive driving often leads to road rage, so it’s essential to understand both terms.
Let’s define aggressive driving first. Aggressive driving means a person is operating a vehicle in a selfish or pushy manner without regard for other people’s rights on the road. Here are a few examples of what it can look like:
- Speeding in heavy traffic
- Cutting off other drivers
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Passing on the right
- Improper and unsafe lane changes
- Running stop signs and red lights
- Honking or screaming at other drivers
- Flashing headlights at slow-moving cars
Road rage is violent anger caused by the stress and frustration of driving a car. Often, road rage accidents are the cumulation of personal attitudes and aggressive driving. Here are some examples of road rage:
- Verbal insults and threats
- Yelling and honking
- Obscene gestures
- Throwing objects
- Blocking another driver
- Forcing a driver off the road
Does road rage happen in Atlanta?
If you’ve ever driven in the city or its surrounding suburbs, you’ve likely encountered some road rage or aggressive driving. According to CNBC, Atlanta has the fourth-worst road rage of any city in the United States, following New York City, Dallas, and Detroit.
Incidents involving road rage are increasing and becoming more severe. In the last year, there were at least 126 cases of road rage, the highest number of incidents in the past six years. However, road rage isn’t just an Atlanta problem – rates are rising nationwide.
Aggressive driving and road rage put all drivers in significant danger. In 62% of the road rage incidents that occurred last year, someone was hurt or killed. Aggressive driving kills and causes 66% of traffic fatalities.
How do you avoid road rage incidents?
Now that we’ve discussed road rage and its dangers, let’s look at how you can avoid road rage incidents and aggressive driving. To prevent incidents, you must avoid offending other drivers, stop engaging with aggressive drivers, and adjust your attitude.
Don’t offend other drivers
You can protect yourself from road rage incidents by being a cautious and courteous driver. The best way to avoid road rage is by never causing it in the first place. Staying alert and aware of your surroundings will give you the tools to prevent road rage incidents.
Another way to prevent cases of road rage is to travel in the right lane – not the left. Even though you may be going the speed limit, slow travel in the left lane can fuel the fires of road rage. Do your best to adjust to the speed of cars around you or merge into the right lane.
Lastly, you will want to avoid any instigating behaviors. Don’t tailgate other drivers, brake-check the car behind you, or make obscene gestures. Be sure to always use your turn signal before merging, and if someone cuts you off, give them room to merge.
Don’t engage aggressive drivers
Sometimes you can’t avoid people with road rage. While you can’t change someone else’s actions, you can always change your reactions. To prevent road rage from escalating, you must avoid engaging aggressive drivers.
Try to steer clear of the angry driver by putting as much distance as possible between your car and the other driver. Avoid eye contact and try to get away as soon as possible, but remember that you should never pull over to settle a road rage incident.
If you cannot get away from the aggressive driver, you may need to call for help. If you have a cell phone, use it to call for police. If you cannot use your phone, you should drive to a crowded place like a convenience store or hospital – do not go home.
Adjust your attitude
It is easy to let other people’s choices affect how we react. However, responding to aggressive driving with more aggressive driving will only lead to road rage incidents. The last way to avoid road rage incidents is to plan well and adjust your attitude.
When you plan your drive, you should allow more time between destinations. Having more time will prevent you from speeding and getting frustrated with other drivers, and help you have a relaxed drive.
Adjusting your attitude will look different for everyone, but practicing mindfulness and empathy will help you avoid road rage situations. Try to breathe deeply when something frustrates you and let the anger pass.
Speak to an Expert
No matter how safe you are while driving, accidents still happen. If you or someone you love is injured by road rage, you may be able to file a personal injury suit against the aggressive driver. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to getting the justice you deserve.
Contact us today at (678) 310-2827 or complete our online form for your free case evaluation. Our personal injury law firm aims to serve the great people of Atlanta and to give a voice to the voiceless.
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