Steps drivers can take to avoid aggressive driving and road rage

There are many things that drivers on our nation's roads need to worry about when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle to drive. In addition to poorly maintained roads and weather related difficulties, drivers need to be aware of the actions of those they share the road with. The failure to be focused on these things could lead to a car accident occurring. While some accidents may be unavoidable, others--such as those due to aggressive driving and road rage--are completely preventable.

Aggressive Driving

But just what is aggressive driving? According to AAA, it could be any unsafe driving behavior that is done on purpose with a disregard for safety or with ill intention. These behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Illegal passing
  • Erratic lane changing
  • Tailgating

These types of activities are dangerous. They play a role in about 56 percent of all crashes that lead to death. In addition, they can lead to more serious cases of road range.

Road Rage

Road rage differs from aggressive driving in that it is considered the commission of a violent criminal act that involves an intention to inflict physical harm against another person. The outcomes from these incidents can be devastating. One AAA Foundation study determined that out of more than 10,000 road rage incidents that occurred over a seven year period, 12,610 people were hurt. Even worse, at least 218 murders are attributed to the activity.

To avoid being the victim of road rage there are steps that can be taken. The first is to avoid offending other drivers by not tailgating, gesturing to other drivers, driving too slowly in the "fast" lane or cutting another driver off.

Next, refuse to engage with a driver who is angry. Avoiding eye contact and providing those drivers plenty of room could keep things from escalating. When necessary, get help from the police or others around you.

Last, change the way you approach driving. Put yourself in the other driver's shoes and don't approach driving as though it is a contest. Some people need the assistance of anger management courses to achieve this.

When car accidents due to aggressive driving and road rage do occur, it is possible that those injured could seek compensation via a personal injury lawsuit. The sooner one looks into this possibility by speaking with a lawyer, the better.