Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
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Staying safe when other drivers have road rage

Everyone gets frustrated sometimes while driving. There is a fine line between experiencing some annoyance and succumbing to road rage. Road rage is an all too frequent problem that leads to dangerous driving on the roads and highways all over the country.

There is much more to motorists having bouts of road range than blaring their horn or driving too fast. As reported by Safe Motorist, an incredible 66 percent of fatal traffic accidents are direct results of overly aggressive driving, and 37 percent of aggressive driving incidents include a firearm. Additionally, data collected over a seven-year period showed that over 12,500 injuries and over 200 murders were a result of road rage.

These are obviously motorists you would want to avoid while on the road. Fortunately, a driver with road rage is easy to spot when you know what to look for. As explained by driver’s education resource Aceable, these are a few of the most tell-tale signs of road rage in action.

Following too close

An impatient driver has no doubt followed you too close at some point. Tailgating is not only one of the easiest signs of overly aggressive driving and road rage; it is also dangerous. It obstructs the tailgater’s view and allows virtually no time to react if you suddenly must hit your brakes.

Blocking other drivers

Some drivers become overly aggressive when someone tries to pass them. You may have experienced this while trying to pass a slower car safely; you signal a lane change only to have someone in that lane speed up and box you out. This is not defensive driving; it is aggressive driving and makes the road less safe for everyone.

Jumping around the road

Speaking of aggressive driving that people might mistake for defensive driving, weaving around the road is often a clear indicator of road rage. A motorist abruptly changing speeds, changing lanes with little or no indication, ignoring traffic signs and cutting other drivers off is extremely unsafe.

Making things personal

Maybe the most obvious sign of road rage is actually showing off that rage to people around them. A driver abusing their horn, flashing rude gestures or shouting out their window is a driver who is clearly having a bad day. As mentioned above, over one-third of all aggressive driving incidents include a gun.

Sharing the road with road-enraged drivers is both frustrating and dangerous. Ending up with a wrecked car or injuries is a mess nobody wants to find themselves in. Fortunately, there are answers if that happens. If you spot a clearly angry driver, the best thing you can do is to pull over and let them pass you. While you’re stopped, it may be worth it to give highway patrol a call.

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