Contrary to popular belief, road rage is not always defined by the acts of honking your horn, making obscene gestures and yelling at another driver—these actions are categorized as the behavior of an aggressive driver. However, there are specific signs that indicate the difference between both escalated forms of driving. No matter what the difference is, a personal injury lawyer will advise all drivers to recognize the signs of road rage and aggressive driving; try to prevent further aggravating the driver involved in the dangerous behavior.
The signs and actions of road rage and aggressive driving obviously creates a dangerous situation on the road, but there is also a connection between negative personality traits and escalated drivers. Research on the psychological side of transportation and human behavior shows that there is a connection between narcissistic people and aggressive drivers. Whether it is narcissism or another negative attribute, signs of aggressive driving are seen in people that are easily-provoked, lack patience and tend to be selfish. These negative traits correlate directly to the actions of an aggressive driver mentioned above.
In addition to the few examples of an aggressive driver, aggressive driving is also defined by speeding, tailgating, brake checking, cutting others off while changing lanes, failure to signal and other inconsiderate driving behaviors. Road rage, on the other hand, is when a situation of aggressive driving becomes so escalated that the driver resorts to violence as a resolution. The actions of road rage include any physical confrontation—a driver experiencing road rage will participate in any of the following activities: getting out of their vehicle, hitting others with their vehicle or assaulting others with a weapon.
Learning what actions constitute road rage makes it clear that the frustration you have seen or experienced is more likely consistent with the behavior of an aggressive driver. While 85% of aggressive drivers state that they would stop before taking the situation to the next level of rage, the danger still exists. In order to preserve safety, there are many ideas to consider that will help you avoid further aggravating an upset driver and calming yourself down as well.
When you recognize an aggressive driver on the road:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Give the driver space
- Yield to any of their aggressive maneuvers
- Remember, you don’t know their current situation
- Apologize in a safe way if they pass you after you’ve made a mistake
When you are frustrated while driving:
- Take a few deep breaths
- Listen to peaceful music
- Remember that no one is perfect
- Remember that you can control your emotions—pull over if needed
- Recognize that your driving can become a hazard to everyone’s safety
A poll taken by the Washington Post records that 12% of drivers experience anger on the road—that’s every tenth driver you see. With that high of a ratio between normal and frustrated drivers, the chances are that you may are likely to have an altercation with a frustrated driver multiple times each year.
A personal injury lawyer will frequently handle a case that includes someone who has experienced road raged or aggressive driving. If you get injured in a wreck that is caused by someone else’s frustration, take note of the actions they took and report it to your personal injury lawyer to ensure liabilities are properly sorted out. The personal injury lawyers at Robert J. DeBry are experienced in these sort of cases and can provide you with the service you need. For any assistance involving your case or to talk to a personal injury lawyer, you can receive a free consultation at 801-699-9999.