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Steven M. Lee, PC

Aggression Drives Behavior Behind the Wheel. Here’s How to Calm Road Rage to Get Home Safely

Learn how to avoid the traffic accident risks caused by an angry driverWhether you drive to work, drive to the store, or drive your kids to school, getting behind the wheel is an unfortunate daily chore for many of us. As a result, thousands upon thousands of cars weave in-and-out of traffic and generally get in each others’ way. In fact, an average of 13,000 cars an hour pass along I-45 alone. However, no matter if you’re driving on a rural road or urban highway, every time you pull out of your driveway you risk suffering an accident.

In addition to driver negligence and drunken driving, one of the most common causes of traffic collisions is road rage. People who lose control of their emotions when they’re behind the wheel are dangerous drivers. They place themselves and others at risk of serious injury all because they couldn’t take a moment to take a calming breath.

Less-Than-Subtle Signs of Rage

We’ve all had moments of frustration where it was difficult to control our actions. It’s human nature. However, when you have moments like that while driving you have no other choice than to bare down and let it go. If you don’t, you could become so distracted with rage that you won’t even realize that your actions are putting your family’s lives in jeopardy.

If you find yourself engaging in these common road rage maneuvers, it’s time to re-evaluate your driving and take back control of your anger .Likewise, if you notice other drivers behaving like this, you need to distance yourself as they may not be able to calm themselves before causing an accident.

Among key signs of an enraged driver, we often see…

  • Tailgating. Tailgating is common during road rage incidents as it shows aggression while encouraging the car ahead to get out of the way by either speeding up or moving over. However, if the car suddenly brakes, then the raging driver can easily rear-end the leading vehicle or cause a spin-out.
  • Changing speeds without warning. Rapid acceleration and speeding are both used to get ahead of the cars that have triggered a driver’s aggression. However, inconsistent speeds can lead to tailgating and the need to brake without warning, both of which can lead to an accident.
  • Intentionally annoying other divers. When a driver is annoyed, he wants those who are annoying him to share in his pain. This is why honking and flashing high beams are both popular maneuvers for road ragers. However, loud noises and blinding lights doesn’t only produce road rage in other drivers, but it can also temporarily distract them and cause an accident.
  • Yelling and making rude gestures. Expressing rage can be an effective cathartic gesture. However, it can also cause others to become angry and take it out on the angry driver. Also, it’s a distraction—in order to make that gesture the driver must take his hands off the wheel.

Calming the Storm and Avoiding the Rage of Others

When you begin to feel yourself getting tense or frustrated by a driver, don’t allow yourself to be overcome by rage. Instead, stay calm and try to distance yourself from the other driver. This may require ignoring his or her behavior and slowing down to let him pass you. If you’re stuck in traffic and have nowhere to go, take long deep breaths and try singing along to the radio to calm your nerves.

If you encounter a particularly aggressive driver on the road, the safest thing is to avoid engaging him further. Avoid making eye contact or swapping angry hand gestures, and try to give him a wide berth. If you are in one of the left lanes and he is tailgating you, move over as soon as you are able to let him pass. Finally, if you are concerned for your own safety and the safety of other cars on the road, call 911 when you are safely able to do so.

Safely Fighting Back

If even your best efforts to avoid dangerous and aggressive drivers are ineffective and you are involved in a road rage accident that is not your fault, you may be able to obtain financial compensation for your damages. With over 35 years’ worth of experience, we have the knowledge and ambition to help you pursue the compensation your injuries require. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call our Houston office today at 800-232-3711.


Steven M. Lee
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