How to Keep Yourself Safe from Aggressive Drivers
Growing up, you were likely taught about how dangerous drunk drivers and distracted drivers can be. What your instructor may have neglected to mention is the very real danger that aggressive drivers pose. Every year, countless people become involved in accidents due to an aggressive driver’s rash and reckless behavior. No amount of safe and defensive driving can prevent an accident if an aggressive driver loses control. That is why keeping these safety tips in mind is key to avoiding accidents while on the road.
When Drivers Become Aggressive
The real danger of aggressive drivers is their lack of control. Drivers that allow themselves to become enraged often place themselves and other in immense danger by taking risky moves and completely ignoring traffic laws. Some common aggressive driver behavior includes:
- Weaving between lanes of traffic and other cars
- Excessive horn use
- Refusing to use blinkers when changing lanes or turning
- Ignoring the right of way
- Sharp and sudden turns
- Running traffic lights and stop signs
- Screaming at and insulting other drivers
This behavior, already terrifying on its own, can easily lead to an intense accident. Aggressive drivers often speed well above the speed limit. The higher the speed and the greater the force, the more extreme the damage and injuries. The truth is aggressive drivers are among the most dangerous drivers you are likely to encounter while on the road.
Avoiding Aggressive Drivers
Given how dangerous aggressive drivers can be, it is best that you know what to do when you encounter one. If an aggressive driver loses control of their vehicle, it won’t matter how defensively you drive or how clean your driver record is; they can collide with you and cause catastrophic injuries. That is why your best bet for safety is to avoid the driver altogether.
Do not engage with the driver. Do not shout back or taunt them or slam on your horn. That will only make them angrier and may place you in extreme danger. Instead, you should allow them to pass you or turn down a road they appear to not be going down. While the detour may make your drive longer, nothing should ever come above your own safety. Once the driver is at a far enough distance that you feel safe, you should contact the local police and give them a description of the vehicle and the driver, so that they can prevent any possible accidents.
If you are a passenger who is traveling with an aggressive driver, you should do your best to exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so. This could be done at a rest stop or a gas station. Remember, being in the car with the aggressive driver puts you in just as much danger, if not more than, the other drivers on the road. You should also do your best not to antagonize the aggressive driver further, and if you know them well enough to know what may calm them down, suggest pulling over and taking a moment to breathe and let go of the anger.
Never Let Yourself Become Aggressive
Of course, aggressive drivers are as much a danger to themselves as they are to others. After all, if their reckless behavior results in a car accident, they could become debilitatingly injured as well. That is why one of the best safety tips you can follow is to keep yourself calm. If you begin to feel enraged, pull over when it is safe and take a deep breath. Give yourself the time you need to calm down. If you are traveling with a passenger, perhaps ask that they take over either until you two reach your destination or until you have calmed down enough to drive safely again. No one wants to be the cause of someone else’s pain and suffering. That is why you should never allow yourself to fall into a road rage.
If you or a loved one were injured due to an aggressive driver, you are likely feeling incredibly alone and hopeless. We understand. Such accidents have just as much a mental toll as they do a physical one. For expert legal help, call the Breyer Law Offices, P.C. at (602) 267-1280. Our Phoenix car accident attorneys are prepared to fight for our clients and their right to proper compensation.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer