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Help! What can I do about road ragers?

By John Singleton on October 14, 2016

If you’ve driven anywhere in the past 10 years, you probably have noticed an increase in the number of people who seem to have road rage or who are driving very aggressively.

Road rage is purposely endangering another driver, or committing assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon upon the driver or passengers of another motor vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Aggressive driving includes speeding, trying to beat red lights, tailgating, changing lanes quickly and often, making obscene gestures, blocking or cutting off other drivers, and frequently honking the horn, among others.

Road rage is a criminal act. Aggressive driving is a traffic offense. But there’s a link: An aggressive driver can quickly become a road rager, and an aggressive driver can also spark road rage in another driver.

Furthermore, even an inconsiderate driver – perhaps someone who forgets to use turn signals, drives far below the speed limit, talks on a cell phone while driving, or accelerates or brakes unevenly — can inadvertently trigger aggressive driving or road rage in another driver.

Being inconsiderate never justifies road rage. However, being aware of and practicing proper driving habits can help you avoid triggering aggressive driving or road rage in someone else.

If you need convincing, the NHTSA offers the following eye-opening statistics:

  • 66 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.
  • Approximately 37 percent of aggressive driving incidents involve the aggressive driver pulling out a firearm.
  • Half of drivers on the receiving end of aggressive driving behavior return the favor with more aggressive driving.

What can a safe driver do?

  • As difficult as it may be, do not react to someone you may have agitated on the road, regardless of whether it was your fault.
  • Avoid eye contact with an aggressive or road rage driver
  • Continue to carefully follow all rules of the road, despite what another driver is doing.
  • Stay back or otherwise try to avoid being near an aggressive or enraged driver. You never know what mental, emotional, or chemical condition an angry driver is in, and you do not want to further endanger yourself or your passengers.

If you or a loved one is injured by another driver, call GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys at (804) 413-6777. There is no cost to meet with us, and we don’t get paid unless we recover money for you.

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