If you’ve ever driven a car, been a passenger in any vehicle, or even seen a movie featuring driving, you’ll know exactly what road rage can look like. It’s absolutely everywhere – basically, where there are drivers, there are incidences of road rage. Driving in a busy area, such as Riverside, means you’ll experience it more than in a quieter region, but do you realize just how dangerous road rage can be? While it may seem like someone getting irrationally angry over a perceived slight while driving is a minor inconvenience on your journey to or from the office, this needless anger could lead to you, or other motorists and passengers, being seriously injured, perhaps even fatally. Sadly, you can’t stop everyone on the road from exhibiting road rage, but you can make sure you stay calm and deal with their aggressive driving safely.
Dealing with Road Rage While Staying Safe
Fact: the phrase “road rage” was first used by a Los Angeles news station while reporting on a series of shootings on California freeways in 1987. Over three decades later, around 80% of drivers admit to having felt anger or rage while in charge of their vehicles, showing that it’s a dangerous trend that’s here to stay.
If you’re not sure what counts as road rage, the short answer is that the phrase covers any behavior stemming from frustration or anger at events on the road. Generally, this behavior will involve:
- Repeated and perhaps unnecessary honking of the horn
- Tailgating, or driving dangerously close to the vehicle in front
- Shouting, swearing, or otherwise being verbally abusive to other drivers
- Making obscene hand gestures aimed at others
- Deliberately bumping into another vehicle
- Intentionally cutting up another driver
- Exiting the vehicle and confronting another driver
- Physically assaulting another road user
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Driving at a dangerous speed
- Blocking another vehicle in, or out of, a junction or property entrance
This is in no way an exhaustive list, as any Riverside car accident attorney will have plenty more examples to add.
What to Do When Faced with Road Rage
Rule #1 of dealing with aggressive drivers is not to retaliate. Try to avoid inflaming the situation further.
Other tips you can follow to help reduce the chances of a road rage-related incident include avoiding eye contact and staying calm. Depending on the scenario, you should also try to slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead, stay in your car, and call the police if necessary.
Whatever you do, the key is staying calm, and not putting yourself in any unnecessary danger. Stay calm, stay in your vehicle, and make as many mental notes about the incident as you can. These notes may come in handy in the future, should you need to give a statement to police, or speak to a car crash lawyer about a lawsuit.