At times, another driver can do something wrong on the road, such as failing to signal correctly, making you feel a bit frustrated or irritated. In extreme cases, such incidents may escalate to road rage, resulting in property damage, injuries, or even death.
Before we take a look at what really causes road rage and what you can do about it, let us first understand what road rage actually means.
What is road rage?
Road rage is a wave of sudden violent anger caused by inconveniences or incidents that occur while driving. It happens when a driver exhibits aggressive or violent behavior due to uncontrolled anger concerning other drivers’ actions.
In many ways, road rage can cause serious accidents, resulting in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. The good news is that a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation if your injuries result from someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
Common signs of road sage
There are a host of more aggressive behaviors that demonstrate road rage in response to traffic. Some of these include:
Driving beyond the legal speed limit is one of the common signs of aggression. Whether you are on the receiving end or not, speeding not only endangers your life but all of the people on the road users as well.
Following too closely behind another car or encouraging the vehicle ahead to move out of the lane can create a frightening driving environment. Unfortunately, the raging driver can easily hit the leading vehicle from behind if it suddenly stops.
- Rude gestures
Even when you cannot hear a driver’s words, specific hand gestures or facial expressions can communicate anger. Whether it is yelling, punching the steering wheel, or excessively honking their horn, you need to be extra careful when driving behind or beside drivers who exhibit any nonverbal signs of anger.
- Failing to obey traffic rules
Angry drivers are often impatient on the road and dangerous. They may run a red light, pass on the shoulder, or even defy the instructions given by the traffic officers, putting other road users in serious danger.
- Failing to signal
Signaling when changing lanes or making turns is a great way to warn other drivers of your intended moves. If you notice a driver with total disregard for this rule, that may be a sign of aggression.
How to avoid road rage
Being a victim of aggressiveness and other intimidating behaviors on the road can be a worrying and frightening experience. Luckily, what you do can determine whether the situation will escalate or fade away.
Here are few tips to help you avoid road rage:
- Stay calm: When faced with an aggressive driver, the best thing is to remain calm. However, that may sometimes mean stopping for some time to cool off.
- Don’t retaliate: In the event of road rage, it is important not to react, as this can make the situation even worse.
- Acknowledge your mistakes: Whether you think you are right or wrong, it is always good to recognize your mistake to diffuse the situation quickly.
- Ignore them: If a driver is flashing their headlights or tailgating you, it is often a safer option to let them pass rather than altering your driving to suit them, putting yourself and other road users at risk.
Road rage can have grave and detrimental consequences for all those involved. That is why you need to avoid it so you can carry on with the rest of your day and prevent possible legal consequences.
However, don’t hesitate to talk to a skilled personal injury attorney if you get injured in road rage as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions.