If you have felt frustrated and angry while behind the wheel, you are not alone. More than 80% of American drivers agree that they have, at some point within the last year, felt road rage, according to AAA.
Whether you feel enraged while behind the wheel or you spot another motorist driving aggressively, it is important to know how to handle the situation. It may prevent a serious car accident, injury or death.
Aggressive drivers are a deadly force on American roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 56% of deadly car accidents involve some form of aggressive driving. In 2018 alone, speeding was involved in 8,596 car accident fatalities, which is 16.7% of all fatal accidents.
The signs of road rage
Aggressive driving can take many forms. The Insurance Information Institute lists the following signs of road rage:
- Failing to stop at traffic signals and yield to traffic signs
- Speeding or racing other vehicles
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Changing lanes erratically, cutting off other motorists
- Blocking motorists from changing lanes
- Yelling, honking or using obscene gestures
In some elevated cases, enraged drivers may exit their vehicles with the intent to harm others. Angry drivers may also hit other vehicles or cause an accident as a form of revenge on another motorist.
If you spot an angry driver, it is important to alert law enforcement as soon as possible. Avoid engaging with the driver by exchanging words, racing or engaging in similar behaviors. This may only escalate the problem. Officers can handle the issue while minimizing the risk of a car accident.