Getting into a car accident is an incredibly stressful ordeal. When your accident is caused by the reckless behavior of another and therefore should have been preventable, the aftermath of a crash can become even more frustrating and complex. Unfortunately, many accidents are caused by human error, and one of the most egregious of these is falling victim to road rage. Our Louisville car accident lawyers share some tips on how to avoid aggressive drivers—and prevent succumbing to road rage yourself.
How to Prevent Road Rage
We all become angry and frustrated while driving sometimes; driving is inherently risky and can be stressful for many other factors, especially if you are running late or have already had a bad day. However, letting road rage affect the safety of yourself and others is taking things too far. Below are some tips on how to avoid aggressive drivers and prevent suffering from road rage.
If you notice another motorist is behaving aggressively:
- Maneuver as far away from their vehicle as possible. Slow down, change lanes, let the driver pass, or exit the highway or make a turn if you must. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Do not engage with or challenge the aggressive driver in any way. Ignoring the driver is far safer than risking making them even angrier by honking, yelling, or enabling them another way.
- Memorize as many details about the vehicle as you can, or have a passenger take pictures or write down the driver’s license plate number. This way you can report them to the police to ensure others’ safety.
- Always put your safety first. Do whatever you have to do to stay safe as long as it doesn’t involve engaging with the aggressive driver. If the motorist follows you, lock your doors, roll up the windows, and drive to the nearest police station. However, don’t speed, as that could cause an accident as well.
If you know you are prone to road rage or are feeling aggressive yourself, keep the following in mind to help stay calm and prevent collisions:
- Get plenty of sleep before getting behind the wheel. A lack of a good night’s sleep can make you irritable and more likely to get angry while driving.
- Leave plenty of time to get where you need to go. This way, you won’t get stressed by being late to an appointment.
- Keep in mind that other drivers are generally not annoying you on purpose. The motorist in front of you may be driving slowly because they are carrying sensitive cargo or because they’re lost. The driver who just cut you off may have just gotten their license and is still learning how to judge how much time and distance is required to turn or change lanes. Plus, even experienced drivers make honest mistakes from time to time. Don’t hold it against them.
- Don't tailgate slow drivers. Tailgating—following closely behind the car in front of you—is dangerous because if they stop suddenly, you may not have the time to avoid hitting them. Tailgating may also make the person in front of you nervous and more prone to making a mistake.
- Don't honk your horn, make rude hand gestures, yell at other drivers, or otherwise act aggressively. While it might make you feel better to express your frustration in a situation like a traffic jam, behaving in such a manner won't make anyone go faster or drive any better. Acting aggressively will also increase people’s stress levels, which may lead to more risky and aggressive behavior.
- Never stop to confront another driver. This could lead to an altogether different dangerous situation, such as assault.
- Take a few deep breaths. Pull over to calm yourself if necessary. It may be inconvenient, but if your road rage is getting out of control, this is far better than endangering yourself and others.
Road Rage & Auto Insurance
Not only are road rage accidents dangerous, but they are also exempted from being covered by many car insurance policies. Any car crash-related damage or liability caused by aggressive driving isn't considered an “accident” since it was caused by risky behavior. This can result in both the aggressor and the injured party losing; the at-fault driver’s insurance premiums go up and the injured motorist can’t get their insurance claim paid, which may result in them filing a lawsuit against the person who let road rage get the better of them. The best way to prevent such a scenario is to avoid road rage entirely. Drive safe!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Kentucky car accident, contact our Louisville car accident lawyers for a free consultation today!