As a motorist in Virginia, you may have felt frustrated or angry while stuck in traffic or rushing to get to an appointment. In some cases, that anger can escalate into aggressive driving behaviors and road rage.
According to AAA, more than 80% of adult drivers in the U.S. have experienced anger while behind the wheel at some point within the last year. Furthermore, at least 56% of deadly car accidents involved at least one form of aggressive driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is critical to know how to spot the signs of road rage and understand what to do if you encounter an aggressive driver.
What are the signs?
The Insurance Information Institute reports the following signs of aggressive driving behaviors:
- Swerving in and out of lanes
- Blocking other vehicles from switching lanes
- Speeding or racing other cars
- Failing to use a turn signal or adhere to other drivers right of way
- Failing to stop at traffic signals and stop signs
- Honking excessively, yelling or using hand gestures
When aggressive driving escalates into road rage, motorists may hit other vehicles or attempt to drive other cars off the road. Enraged motorists may get out of their cars and approach other drivers with the intent to cause physical harm.
What should you do?
If you encounter a driver with road rage, law officers recommend avoiding contact or interaction with the aggressive motorists. This may escalate the issue. Instead, contact law enforcement and give them information regarding the situation.
If you become angry or frustrated while driving, take some deep breaths. Try listening to some soft music or turn the cool air on. Keep in mind that driving aggressively puts others lives in danger.