Protecting Yourself Against Aggressive Drivers
It takes some effort to not get aggravated by minor traffic annoyances, such as dealing with construction delays or getting behind someone going slower than the speed limit when you are running late for an appointment. Some of us are just naturally more patient and react better in these situations, while it takes others considerable effort not to lose their cool. Drivers who get angry and act aggressively when behind the wheel increase the risk of car accidents and injuries, putting themselves, their passengers, and other motorists in danger.
Aggressive Driving and Car Accidents
The Insurance Information Institute (III) warns that aggressive driving is a major factor in car accidents in Florida and throughout the United States, and plays a significant role in over half of all fatal crashes and collisions. While episodes of extreme ‘road rage’ are not common, there are plenty of less dramatic aggressive driving behaviors which could endanger your safety. These include:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
- Tailgating and vengefully following other vehicles;
- Improper lane changes and cutting other drivers off;
- Passing where prohibited or driving on the shoulder of the road or in the median;
- Failure to take turns at intersections or to yield right of way to other drivers;
- Failure to obey traffic signs, signals, and devices.
Aggressive driving is a form of bullying, and not only endangers automobile drivers, but puts motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians at risk.
What To Do If You Encounter An Aggressive Driver
To avoid losing your temper behind the wheel, consider playing relaxing music, repeating calming affirmations, or make it a habit of allowing to extra time to get wherever you need to go. What should you do if you encounter an aggressive driver in your travels? Esurance recommends the following tips:
- Remain calm. Getting agitated yourself only increases your likelihood of making mistakes.
- Avoid eye contact. Resist the urge to make an angry face or attempts to stare the other driver down.
- Refrain from angry gestures. Honking your horn, flashing your high beams, and making hand gestures will only escalate the situation.
- Give them space. This gives you some protection in the event they suddenly switch lanes or if the need to slam on their brakes due to tailgating others.
- Let them pass. Do not get into a power struggle with an aggressive driver by attempting to block their passing.
If the other driver behavior becomes increasingly erratic, pull over to a public place and notify the police.
Contact Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys
If you are involved in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, remain in your car with the doors locked until the police arrive. Get medical care immediately for any injuries you suffer, and before making any statements to the insurance company, contact the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. We can advise you on the best course of action to hold the other driver accountable, so that you can get the compensation you need to recover. Call or contact our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys online to request a free consultation.