Surveys reveal that nine out of ten drivers believe that aggressive drivers pose a serious threat to their safety. And research shows they have every reason to be fearful. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), speeding, tailgating, and other aggressive behaviors are a factor in more than half of fatal car accidents. What begins with one driver cutting another off or preventing them from merging becomes a dangerous battle of wills that ends with life-changing consequences.
Fortunately, road rage accidents are preventable. The following are some tips from AAA to stay calm and safe behind the wheel.
Certain bad driving habits can enrage the most even-keeled drivers. Tailgating, cutting other cars off, and driving slowly in the passing lane tend to provoke already impatient or frustrated drivers. Be aware of your surroundings, take your time, and give your vehicle and those around you plenty of space. Making the choice to be a calm and courteous driver every day is the first step to preventing aggressive driving accidents.
Angry drivers are easy to spot. They can be seen weaving in and out of traffic, riding the bumper of the car in front of them, or making obscene gestures at other vehicles. Every driver has surely felt the urge to retaliate against a rude, impatient, or reckless driver. But you can diffuse the situation by refusing to engage.
Avoid all physical and verbal contact with aggressive drivers. Even just making eye contact can turn a fleeting interaction into a personal confrontation. Slow down and allow dangerous drivers to pass. If you believe a reckless driver may be danger to themselves or anyone else, pull out of traffic safely and contact the police.
When you realize that aggressive driving takes thousands of lives every year in the United States, you realize that mindful driving makes sense. Forget about “winning” against a reckless driver. Your life is more important than proving to another driver that you are right.
Knowing that you have plenty of time to get to your destination can put your mind at ease. Leave a bit earlier for added peace of mind. Make driving more enjoyable by listing to your favorite music or audio book. If you have difficulty controlling your anger, takes steps to get help. Stress-reduction techniques and anger management therapy can enhance not just your morning commute, but every aspect of your health and well-being.
When all else fails, try putting yourself in the other driver’s shoes. They may be rushing to visit a sick family member or comforting a crying baby in the back seat. With a bit of empathy, patience, and courtesy, aggressive driving accidents and the devastation they cause can be prevented.
Being on the other end of an unpredictable and belligerent driver can be a frightening experience. Even when you refuse to engage, some aggressive drivers are just looking for a fight – or an accident. Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. work on your behalf to hold negligent drivers accountable for the pain, suffering, and medical expenses you are facing after a motor vehicle accident. Your lawyer will review every detail of your accident and gather all the evidence necessary to prove your claim and recover the compensation deserve for your injuries.
To discuss your accident with an experienced Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780, or contact us online. We offer free consultations to injured accident victims across South Carolina, including those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.