Utah, a state known for its breathtaking landscapes and friendly communities, has recently garnered attention for a less desirable distinction: having the highest number of road rage incidents in the United States. As of September 12, 2022, Utah was declared the state with the most confrontational drivers. According to a Forbes study, “Utahns were the most likely in the nation (76%) to report that another driver in their home state has honked at them in frustration. More than half (58%) of survey respondents in Utah said they have been on the receiving end of a rude or offensive gesture while driving.
Utah Drivers were second most likely to say that another driver has tailgated them (73%), and that another driver has exceeded the speed limit just to block them from changing lanes (47%).
Of those surveyed, about 1 in 4 Utahn drivers (27%) said they know of someone in their state who was injured due to a road rage incident.”
What Causes Road Rage
Driving a car is often an extremely stressful endeavor. There may be traffic on your commute, or maybe there is a slow driver in front of you. These factors can often culminate, and can combine to result in road rage. Understanding this, what can you as a driver do to prevent road rage from yourself, and causing road rage from others?
Preventing Road Rage and Avoiding Being a Victim of an Aggressive Driver
Do Not Offend
Nobody wants to be disturbed while they are driving, and the last thing anybody wants is to be disturbed by another driver. Some actions on the road tend to prompt a much more aggressive response from other drivers. These actions can include: cutting someone off, driving slowly in the left lane, weaving in and out of lanes, honking unnecessarily, and tailgating. These actions often will trigger aggressive reactions from another driver. By avoiding these actions and respecting your fellow motorists you are much more likely to avoid someone else’s road rage.
Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is an essential skill that helps prevent confrontations on the road. To practice defensive driving you must: maintain a safe following distance, obey traffic laws, and avoid aggressive maneuvers such as tailgating or excessive speeding. If you are a courteous and considerate driver you will often defuse potential road rage situations, and stop them before they even start.
Stay Away From Confrontation
If you encounter an aggressive driver, the best course of action is to distance yourself from the situation. Avoid making eye contact, as it can escalate tensions, and if necessary change lanes or take an alternate route to remove yourself from the proximity of the aggressive driver. It is crucial not to retaliate or engage in any form of aggressive behavior yourself.
Manage Your Emotions
Emotional self-control is vital in preventing road rage incidents. Make sure that you remain cool calm and composed at the wheel, especially when face with challenging situations. Avoid engaging in aggressive behavior such as, making obscene gestures, or exchanging verbal altercations with other drivers. Taking a deep breath and maintaining a positive mindset can be can go a long way in diffusing tensions with other drivers.
By using these tools you can help stop road rage before it even starts. Remember to stay calm and collected, and to practice defensive driving while you are on the road. When these steps fail it is crucial to understand the steps that you should take if you are the victim of an aggressive driver.
What Should You Do If You Are The Victim of Road Rage
Let the Driver Pass
More often than not an aggressive driver is trying to drive as fast as possible. That being said, when there is an aggressive driver behind you, it is vital to let them pass as soon as possible. Make sure it is safe for you to change lanes and let them pass. When you have let them pass, return your vehicle to the speed you were going before and continue forward. Try to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle, and if necessary, call the authorities if the driver continues with their aggressive actions.
Dealing with someone who has road rage can be exceptionally stressful, one of the key things you must do in this scenario is to stay calm and keep a cool head. Listening to relaxing music, or talking with someone else in the vehicle can help you keep a calm demeanor. Make sure that you maintain your speed, and make sure that you drive as safely as possible.
Do Not Stop
Aggressive drivers can be dangerous, and stopping in response to their driving can often seem like an invitation to continue the confrontation long after the incident occurred. A face to face confrontation may escalate to violence. By not stopping you give the aggressive driver more time to relax and to recollect themselves.
Consult with a Salt Lake City Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a road rage incident, you may have a legal claim, and you should consider a consultation with a competent personal injury lawyer. At LifeLaw Personal Injury, our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined legal experience, and can advice you on your legal rights. This includes helping you seek compensation for any damages that you have suffered, like medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering from the incident. If you are the victim of a road rage incident, we invite you to contact LifeLaw today to discuss your options.