How to Deal With an Aggressive Driver

Imagine you are driving home from a long hard day at work, you are listening to the radio and can not wait to get home and relax. All of the sudden, someone cuts into your lane nearly causing an accident. Your first reaction might be to tailgate them or start cussing them out. While their actions were dangerous and you have a right to be angry, escalating the situation can lead to road rage. Road rage is a common and dangerous phenomenon that results in aggressive and often dangerous driving behaviors fueled by anger. These dangerous episodes can be brought on by the actions of drivers and compromise the safety of everyone on the road, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Here at LifeLaw Personal Injury, we see the aftermath of road rage far too often. It is vital that you as a driver understand the risks involved when dealing with road rage as well as how you can safely handle an encounter with an aggressive driver.

Road Rage: Serious Risks

Someone cutting into your lane or going slower than the speed limit on a road can make you angry; however, before you do anything rash, take into account the consequences that can arise when you give in to road rage:

  • Traffic Accidents: Road rage typically leads to more aggressive driving maneuvers. These can include speeding, sudden lane changes, and ignoring traffic signals. These brash decisions can significantly increase the likelihood of causing or getting into a car accident.
  • Physical Confrontations: Road rage can frequently escalate from aggressive driving to physical violence. When drivers get out of their cars and engage in a physical altercation they can result in serious injuries or even death. In fact, roughly 30 murders a year are directly linked to a road rage altercation.
  • Legal Repercussions: Acting on road rage can lead to direct and severe legal consequences. Aggressive driving is extremely unsafe and can result in citations and penalties for your actions. If your actions caused any harm to the person or the vehicle then you may even be pressed with criminal charges.
  • Emotional Distress: Being a victim in a road rage incident can leave you with long lasting emotional and psychological trauma. You may experience bouts of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression, and fears of driving depending on the severity of the altercation.

How to Handle a Road Rage Encounter

If an aggressive driver is harassing you it can be extremely stressful and you may not know how to handle it. If you are in this situation remember to stay calm and try the following:

  • Stay Calm and Drive Safely: If you notice that an aggressive driver is following you your best course of action is to keep calm and continue driving safely. Do not engage in similar behavior as this can increase the severity of the situation and lead to a more dangerous encounter.
  • Do Not Engage: When being pursued by an aggressive driver avoid making eye contact or responding with gestures. These sorts of actions can provoke further aggression putting you in serious danger. It’s in your best interest to keep your focus on the road and try to maintain drive as safely as possible.
  • Create Distance: If it is possible to do so, try to safely increase the distance between you and the aggressive driver. If the aggressive driver continues to follow or harass you, consider changing the route you are driving or drive to a public place like a police station. 
  • Record Details: If it is safe to do so, you or a passenger should try to make notes of details about the aggressive driver. Try to detail the vehicle’s make, model, color, as well as their license plate number. This information can be useful if you need to report the incident to the police.
  • Reporting the Incident: If you feel threatened by an aggressive driver, do not hesitate to call law enforcement. Provide the officer with all the details of the incident, including any descriptions of the driver, vehicle, and the behavior that was witnessed.
  • Seek Legal Counsel: If a road rage encounter results in any damages or injury, consulting with a car accident lawyer can be critical. A skilled car accident lawyer will be able to help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of legal claims ensuring that you get the compensation that you deserve.

At LifeLaw Personal Injury, our team of car accident lawyers are committed to promoting safety and responsible driving. Road rage is a preventable cause of accidents, and by understanding how to properly react and defuse a situation with an aggressive driver, we can all help to make our roads safer. If you have been affected by a road rage accident or have been injured by the negligence of someone else, do not hesitate to reach out to the best car accident lawyers at LifeLaw Personal Injury. We will fight tirelessly to get you the compensation that you deserve, contact us today for a free consultation and to discuss your options further.