Across the United States, motorists have caused injuries or fatalities to others for petty reasons due to road rage. Even if you have perfect control over your own anger, you remain subject to aggressive driving by a lack of impulse control on the part of any driver around you. To help protect your safety and reduce your risks, you need to avoid behaviors on your part that commonly anger aggressive drivers.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends that you make sure you avoid the following actions that commonly ignite the fuses of other drivers:
- Cutting off other drivers. This behavior is inappropriate and unsafe in its own right. At the very least, signal your intentions, but a better approach is to allow plenty of space before changing lanes.
- Driving slowly in the passing lane. As of November 2010, Oklahoma state law designated the left lane on a four-lane highway as a passing lane. However, drivers across the U.S. generally believe any left lane is a passing lane, and they become angry if you slow down traffic, even while driving the speed limit. If someone wants to pass, move to the right to allow him or her to do so.
- Tailgating. It is not uncommon for some victims of tailgating to try to discourage the practice by applying their brakes. You may believe you are in the right, but in the event of a collision, police will cite you for following too closely.
- Making insulting gestures. Most people welcome a hand signal that thanks them for letting you merge in front of their vehicles. However, they react very differently when you make a rude gesture or a disapproving face.
You cannot always predict or control road rage on the part of other drivers. In many cases, they may be angry before your vehicle even comes into view. Even if you cannot avoid an accident, you can often take defensive measures to reduce the impact and lessen the severity of your injuries. While you should avoid admitting fault to anyone at an accident scene, you need to discuss all details with a skilled auto accident attorney who can use the information to identify the best approaches available for pursuing compensation for your injuries and other damages.