Many motorists are unaware that road rage is one of the leading causes of serious car accidents and injuries. It could manifest in the form of an enraged driver carrying out an intentionally dangerous act or driving maneuver. They could suddenly press the brakes in front of the other vehicle or even attempt to tap the other car’s bumper.
Road rage is the seething anger that boils over and explodes when someone is driving. It is most often retaliatory in nature, fueled by the belief from the raging driver of having been wronged in some way, with the overwhelming need to take revenge on the wrongdoer. The underlying cause could be a high level of stress or an anger problem or simply a bad habit to fly into rage anywhere, anytime, including on the road.
While a majority of road rage instances end up as shouting matches, some do lead to violence. Statistics show that roughly 37 percent of aggressive driving incidents in the US stem from road rage. Let us further discuss the causes of road rage and how you can deal with a driver raging at you if you ever encounter one on the road.
Common Forms of Road Rage
Everybody has a different perception of others’ behavior while driving and it is hard to gauge how people will react when they feel wronged on the road. Road rage is completely unpredictable, being the manifestation of deep-seeded anger and frustration, and the inability to exercise self-restraint. The most common forms of road rage include:
- Blocking traffic
- Following the perceived wrongdoer
- Purposely cutting off other drivers
- Preventing other drivers from changing lanes
- Intentionally ramming
- Initiating confrontation outside of the car
- Driving on median or sidewalk
Common Causes of Road Rage
Road rage happens when small gripes and frustrations from people’s daily lives, such as busy schedules, office issues, and personal problems, spill over as anger and aggression against other drivers on the road.
Hardly anybody heads down the road with the intention to fight or hurt someone. Instead, their road rage is the manifestation of all their stress and frustration coming together against various forms of stimuli in the environment, such as:
- Slow driving
- Distracted driving
- Erratic driving
- Loud music
- Heavy traffic and gridlocks
- Wreck delays
- Gestures from another driver
- Horns from another driver
Ways to Prevent Road Rage
If you make a habit of lateness, you will find yourself driving unsafely more often than not as you will always be hard-pressed for time. Give yourself sufficient travel time to reach your destination to avoid driving aggressively. Check traffic updates for delays before you start.
Avoid Driving When Angry
If you are already angry or frustrated at something, do not drive as a way to cool off. This could have exactly the opposite result, with you letting off steam at another driver for a small occurrence that could set you off.
Do No Tailgate
If the person ahead of you on the road is driving inexplicably slowly in the fast lane, keep calm and avoid tailgating them as it would accomplish nothing. The driver could either ignore you or even retaliate.
Do Not Honk
There are perhaps a few instances that might warrant a light honk, but loud and incessant honking is not only unproductive as it is a display of pure frustration but also irritating to everyone around you.
While driving, the most imperative thing to keep in mind is that no one is out to get you. Do not be quick to judge, give others some benefit of the doubt, and do not take everything personally.
Do Not Engage
When you encounter an angry or aggressive driver, do not escalate the situation. Do not make eye contact and do not engage. An angry, raging driver may interpret any interaction from you as an escalation.
Do Not Return Home
There could be situations where the raging driver looking to escalate the situation, might try to follow you home. Do not lead them back to your house, but if followed, try to stay composed and drive to the nearest police station.
Do Not Stop
Do not stop unless you need to stop at a light. Stopping anywhere else, such as at a parking lot, can be a clear indication of you wanting to escalate the situation by having a confrontation.
Contact an Experienced Alabama Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you are the victim of a road rage accident, attorney Frank M. Wilson can help. If you have suffered physical injuries or damage to property because of someone else’s aggressive driving or road rage, you can certainly pursue a personal injury claim against them.
We will fight to protect your legal rights and help you recover the rightful financial compensation that you deserve for your injuries after a road rage accident. To schedule a free and confidential case consultation, fill out our online form or give us a call at (334) 420-2931.