There’s no denying that driving can be stressful. Even the best of us have found ourselves yelling at another driver or cursing under our breath when we are stuck in particularly bad traffic, running late to work, or just having a bad day.
Feeling stressed or irritated during undesirable driving situations is normal, but a problem arises when these feelings escalate into road rage or aggressive driving.
Most drivers know how to control feelings of frustration and anger on the road before they escalate into violent or aggressive behaviors, whether by taking deep breaths, putting on soothing music, or simply letting the feeling go. But how do you deal with road rage or aggressive driving from the driver in the car behind you?
When you are sharing the road with an aggressive driver, it can be a frightening and perilous situation. Here are some tips on handling aggressive drivers, and protecting you and your family from acts of road rage:
Keep calm. Even if another driver is acting angrily or aggressively, it’s important to keep your own behavior calm and courteous. If another driver acts aggressively by cutting you off or tailgating, your reaction to his or her behavior will determine what happens next in the situation. Whenever possible, try to avoid conflict. If he or she attempts to engage you in an argument, ignore them and drive away.
Avoid eye contact. Even if it is not your intention, eye contact can be perceived as a challenge. Since many aggressive drivers are driven by personal insecurities and frustrations, they can be set off by something as simple as a raised eyebrow or smirk.
Refrain from using inflammatory gestures. It can be tempting to honk, swear, or make inflammatory hand gestures if someone is driving poorly or aggressively, but doing so can inflame a driver’s temper. Instead of releasing frustration or anger in this way, wait until you’re off the road to vent by sharing the story with a friend.
Leave some room. It can be tempting to scoot your car up into open space when there’s a lot of traffic around you, but this can cause some drivers to feel anxious and irritated. Try to leave a few feet behind the car in front of you to avoid agitating a fellow driver and to allow yourself space to make a speedy exit if the situation calls for it.
Stay out of the left lane. If a driver is trying to bully you into speeding up, move out of the right lane to let him or her pass. Put on your blinker to let the driver know you are planning to let them pass, and switch lanes when it’s safe to do so.
Follow traffic laws. A somewhat obvious but no less important way of preventing road rage is to follow local traffic laws as closely as you can. Always use directional lights to indicate a lane change and follow cars at a safe distance. Remain in one lane whenever possible and drive within the speed limits. Avoid texting or using your phone while driving. Use your horn only when absolutely necessary.
Find another parking space. It can be frustrating when another driver swipes the parking space you’ve been waiting for, but it’s not the end of the world. Instead of getting angry and trying to start an argument, assume that the driver may not have seen you and seek another space.
Stay safe. If a driver is acting aggressively, lock your doors and leave enough space in front of you to pull out. Call 911 if an angry driver approaches your car.
When driving, it’s a good idea to be tolerant of non-conforming traffic behaviors to a reasonable degree. But if another driver’s road rage or aggressive driving behavior causes you to get in a car accident, that’s when tolerance should end.
If you have been involved in an accident due to another’s angry or aggressive behaviors despite your own efforts to practice safe driving, contact a knowledgeable accident attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer can help you hold dangerous drivers accountable for their actions and prevent them from causing similar accidents in the future. Not only will you be able to help keep aggressive driving off the road, you may be able to recover compensation for repairs, medical bills, and overall pain and suffering.
About the Author:
Steven Slootsky is a 1985 graduate of Nova Law School, which means he’s been a practicing Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer for more than 2 decades. He founded the Law Offices of The Injury Law Firm of South Florida in 1991. The Fort Lauderdale-based accident attorney is a member of the Florida Bar, as well as the Federal Bar for the Southern District for the U.S. District Court. During his career as a personal injury lawyer/auto accident compensation attorney, Steven has served as the co-chair of the Workers’ Compensation section for Broward County, Florida. He is also a Bronze member of the Florida Workers Advocates, a former member of the board, and serves as an “Eagle” member of the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Although parking lot crashes are rarely high-speed, they do happen – a lot of them. Moreover, parking lot accidents often result in expensive repair bills and insurance increases. A parking lot crash can also cause serious or even fatal injuries, especially if pedestrians are involved. Below we’re going to break down how parking lot auto [..]
Consumer products regulations ensure that most products on the market are safe for their intended use. However, some consumer products companies push the boundaries of regulations or cut corners in the design or manufacturing process, which can lead to dangerous defective products reaching US consumers. When consumers are injured by a defective product, it may [..]
Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence, and it can take many different forms. For example, it may be based on a negligent action that the doctor took, or conversely, on something the doctor failed to do. However, in order to successfully hold a doctor liable for medical malpractice, you must be able [..]
Florida policyholders purchase insurance and pay premiums with the understanding that – should disaster strike – their insurer will pay out damages to compensate for losses covered in the policy. That’s the whole point of insurance! Paying out covered damages is considered to be acting in good faith on the part of the insurance company. [..]
As your teen approaches their 15th birthday, they have an exciting opportunity – the ability to get their learner’s permit. The Florida learner’s permit allows residents to start the journey toward driving – and freedom! However, in the immortal words of Uncle Ben from Spiderman (say it with us), “With great power comes great responsibility.” [..]
As a parent, you care about your child and you look out for their well-being. However, you may not be aware of which types of injuries occur the most often for Florida kids, and that’s something that can be the difference between avoiding an accident and spending time in the hospital. Children are treated every [..]
The holidays are just around the corner, and many Floridians are looking forward to getting into the holiday spirit with colorful decorations and fun family activities. However, the holidays also carry an increased risk of many kinds of injuries. On their own, holiday decorations are responsible for about 15,000 injuries annually. You probably know to [..]
Not sure which car seat is right for your child? You have an important job as a parent—providing a safe experience for your child while he or she is riding in a vehicle. Thousands of children are injured or killed in Florida car crashes each year, and the right car seat can protect your child [..]
Haunted houses are supposed to be scary. You want to jump. You want to scream. You want to be nervous about turning the next corner. What do you not want? To get hurt. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to a Michigan woman in 2014. She visited the haunted house as a patron, and a moving [..]
Every day, Florida pedestrians are injured by car drivers. Some injuries are minor, yet some can be life-threatening. In this post, we’ll tell you the types of injuries you can expect if you get hit by a car, and what you can do to fight back and get the compensation you need and deserve. Stats [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
School is out, but that doesn’t mean your child has to be stuck at home for the summer with no structure and nothing to do. Summer camps are a great way to keep your child active, supervised, and having fun – while also allowing them to branch out. However, summer camps come with a lot [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]
The recent death of a Tampa couple is an example of what might have been a potential product liability lawsuit had they lived. On Thanksgiving Day, Kevin and Michelle Livingston were traveling home from a visit to south Florida. Reports indicate that their sport utility vehicle drove into the waters of a canal along [..]
This law firm helped me with my car accident case and helped me to get the most of the medical benefits that were needed after the accident, and gave me fair and helpful expectations on what I would recieve back for the pain and suffering after the accident.