We have all encountered angry, aggressive drivers, honking their horn and tailgating others in the midst of traffic. In some situations, that may even be us. Aggressive driving is a common problem on roads across the U.S., and it is also a leading contributing factor in car accidents and injuries. To protect yourself, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers, as well as steps you can take to keep cool yourself when behind the wheel.
Car Accidents Due to Aggressive Driving
The Insurance Information Institute (III) states that while situations involving road rage, such as when one driver pulls a gun or crashes into another, make headlines, aggressive driving is far more common and dangerous. It is a leading contributing factor in more than half of all fatal car accidents throughout the country, responsible for close to 20,000 motor vehicle deaths each year. Common types of aggressive driving behaviors include:
• Speeding and going too fast for conditions
• Tailgating and following too closely
• Failure to yield at turns or when entering or exiting freeways
• Improper passing and lane changes
• Failure to stop at traffic lights and signals
• Operating a vehicle in any reckless or negligent manner
Any of the above may be combined with angry gestures, such as making hand motions, blocking other drivers from passing, following drivers home, or even just yelling and honking their horn. The sense of anonymity drivers get being behind the wheel combined with external pressures at home or work can make this type of behavior more likely to occur.
Dealing with Aggressive Drivers
According to traffic studies from the American Automobile Association (AAA), nearly 80 percent of US drivers admitted to getting angry and taking some sort of aggressive action against another driver at some point over the past year. If you encounter an aggressive driver on the road, the AAA offers these tips:
• Avoid eye contact
• Do not match aggression with aggression
• Allow them to pass, and give them plenty of space in traffic
• If they are swerving or engaging in dangerous driving behavior, pull over to a shopping center or take the next available exit
• If you feel you are in imminent danger, drive to a public place, such as a police or fire station
If you are the one who is prone to anger, take a few deep breaths the next time you are sitting in traffic. Give yourself added time to get where you need to go, practice restraint in using your horn or making gestures, and remember that your actions could cause serious injuries for yourself as well as others.
Reach Out to Us for Professional Help
When car accidents result in injuries for you or someone you love, contact an attorney who has extensive legal experience defending the rights of their clients and can provide the professional legal representation you need to get compensation. Contact a personal injury attorney in Ewing, NJ to request a consultation today.
Thanks to Davis & Brusca, LLC for their insight into personal injury law.