Avoiding Incidents and Accidents Caused by Road Rage

A man pressing his hand on the car horn of a steering wheel, meant to represent road rage.It can be irritating to be running late for an appointment and encounter a traffic jam. This mounting frustration is not only distracting and stressful, but it can also lead to aggressive, unsafe driving. It can be equally stressful to be on the receiving end of road rage should you mistakenly cut someone off or simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since angry drivers contribute nothing but increased risks while driving, it’s important to learn how to avoid incidents and accidents caused by road rage.

What Contributes to Road Rage?

According to a study by AAA, 80 percent of drivers admitted to expressing significant anger or aggression while driving over the course of a year. Aggressive driving resulting from road rage can take many forms – such as tailgating, speeding, and weaving. This behavior is derived from some unique driving situations:

  • Anonymity: Drivers often assume they won’t encounter other drivers again, making them more comfortable engaging in aggressive and risky behaviors, such as excessive honking or rude gestures, without fear of repercussions.
  • Traffic Delays and Tardiness: Running late for a meeting or being held up by lack of parking spots, long stoplights, or heavy traffic can increase a driver’s frustration and lead to erratic driving.
  • Learned or Habitual Behavior: As a parent, you should be wary of how your attitude may reflect on your teenaged driver.

For other drivers, they just might not feel the rules of the road apply to them. Regardless of the cause, road rage and aggressive driving are responsible for 66% of traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it’s every driver’s responsibility to control their actions.

How to Avoid Accidents Caused by Road Rage

Whether the road rage stems from yourself or another driver, there are methods you can employ to ensure you’re not putting yourself and others at risk. For unavoidable incidents, though, you can protect yourself by ensuring you have the right auto insurance policy.

Preventing Personal Road Rage and Unsafe Driving

Before you even get behind the wheel, allow yourself extra time to get where you’re going to avoid taking unnecessary driving risks. If you inevitably become upset while driving, taking some time to pull over into a safe area and cool off can refocus your attention on safe, undistracted driving. While driving, you should also consider the effect your road rage is having on those around you. Understand that honking your horn, tailgating, and confronting other drivers will not solve anything and will only raise the stress levels of other drivers, distracting them from driving safely.

Avoiding Incidents Caused by Another Driver’s Road Rage

Whether you’ve inadvertently cut someone off or it’s a matter of being the recipient of a driver’s aimless frustration, it’s advised to steer clear of aggressive drivers by safely changing lanes, slowing down, or exiting the highway. Most importantly, don’t reciprocate their anger or engage, as this will only exacerbate the situation. If your attempts to remove yourself from the road rage incident are unsuccessful and the driver is following you, report to the nearest police station. Give them a call to report that you are coming, and when you arrive, lay on your horn to draw the attention of authorities.

Learning to avoid takes a certain level of empathy. While your intentions may not be to hurt anyone, it’s important to reflect on your behavior’s impact on others. While controlling your frustration and avoiding drivers experiencing road rage will drastically increase your safety, accidents do happen. That’s why you should entrust your auto insurance needs to an experienced agency like TJ Woods Insurance. If you need assistance obtaining the best coverage from expert independent agents, don’t hesitate to contact us today.