Aggressive driving is increasingly a problem for motorists who must share the road with people engaging in this dangerous behavior.
According to an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, aggressive driving is a factor in 56 percent of fatal accidents, and nearly eight million drivers admitted to getting out of their vehicles and confronting other motorists or ramming their cars.
You might not be able to control the behavior of someone else, but you can reduce the likelihood of a problem and control your reaction.
Guidelines to Avoid an Aggressive Driver
Aggressive driving is defined as unsafe driving practices that are done deliberately or with disregard for the safety of others. Tailgating, erratically changing lanes, yelling at others, or making gestures are a few examples of aggressive driving. It can escalate into even more dangerous road rage where a driver engages in a criminal act, like pulling out a gun.
Here are some tips on how to avoid an aggressive driver:
- Don't cut off another driver. Leave plenty of space and signal your intention to move into another lane. If you accidentally cut someone off, try to apologize for your mistake to avoid making the other person angry.
- Don't drive slowly in the fast lane. In many states across America, laws indicate the left lane is a designated passing lane or for faster traffic. If you drive slower than what's considered to be the normal speed of traffic and don't move over when appropriate, this could be interpreted by other drivers as a form of passive-aggressive driving and spark confrontation.
- Avoid tailgating. This is another behavior that can be offensive, and either be interpreted as aggressive behavior or trigger someone else's road rage.
- Resist gesturing. Keep your hands on the wheel without visual commentary, even if another driver engaged in an aggressive driving practice that made you mad.
- Don't engage. This might make the problem worse. Stay as far away from him as possible—even if you have to change your route. Don't make eye contact, as he could interpret it as threatening behavior.
- Seek a safe haven. If you believe that the situation is dangerous, call the police or drive to a police station or place where there are a lot of people, such as a convenience store or shopping mall.
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