How to Avoid Dangerous Road Rage BehaviorMarch 6, 2019
It can be difficult to remain calm and collected when you are stuck in traffic, the person in front of you does not move when the light turns green, or someone cuts you off while changing lanes. These scenarios are frustrating, but motorists have a responsibility to drive safely and not allow their frustrations to escalate to a point where they lose their temper and take it out on another driver. When a driver exhibits aggressive, angry behavior toward another driver, including offensive gestures, insults, physical threats, or driving in a way that threatens another driver’s safety, this is considered road rage. Unlike aggressive driving, which is a traffic offense, road rage is a criminal offense. There are things you can do to protect yourself, and the other passengers in your vehicle, from the dangers of road rage.
Safety Tips for Road Rage Victims
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), road rage is a serious problem that can lead to devastating accidents and severe injuries and fatalities. Statistics show that over 60 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving, and 37 percent of those accidents involved some type of firearm. Approximately half of the victims of road rage admit that they responded to the behavior, rather than put distance between themselves and the other driver. Over a seven-year period, road rage was responsible for 218 murders and over 12,600 injuries.
All motorists should keep the following tips in mind to avoid road rage and other types of aggressive driving:
- Avoid drowsy driving. Drivers are more likely to become annoyed, angry, or resentful toward other drivers if they have not had enough sleep.
- Allow for extra travel time. If you only allow yourself just enough time to get to an appointment, you are more likely to speed, or become stressed out and angry if an unexpected traffic event slows you down. Plan ahead and add an extra 10 minutes to your travel time.
- Do not use your car as a place to blow off steam. When stressed, angry, or frustrated, people tend to drive faster, tailgate, and swerve in and out of lanes without signaling. Take a moment to relax, take deep breaths, or listen to calming music before hitting the road.
- Avoid aggressive music. If you are already stressed out, aggressive music may escalate your mood. Play soothing music or listen to an audiobook or podcast.
- Do not overreact. People make mistakes, so if a driver cuts you off, or the car in front of you stops suddenly, do not take it personally and try not to overreact.
If another motorist is showing signs of road rage, put distance between yourself and the other driver. If you believe they are threatening your safety or endangering other motorists, call 911 and provide the license plate number of the vehicle. Do not engage or respond to threats or rude gestures.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Road Rage
If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by road rage, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will protect your rights and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.