Road rage has been on the rise lately in the state of Georgia. In fact, just this year there have been over a dozen road rage shootings in Atlanta alone. The Georgia State Patrol has indicated that it is working diligently to deal with these road rage issues. Georgia State Patrol Sergeant Jay Trawick has asserted that there are things drivers can do to safely avoid a road rage accident. The following article will address some ways to deal with aggressive drivers and minimize the occurrence of road rage accidents.
What is road rage?
Road rage occurs when a driver commits an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon on the driver or passengers of another motor vehicle. This conduct can endanger other people and property. A driver typically engages in road rage when the conduct or actions of another driver enrages him enough to respond with aggressive behavior.
What Causes Road Rage?
There are several factors that contribute to road rage, some of which include:
- Running late
- Heavy traffic
- Disregard for others and the law
- Learned/habitual aggressive behavior
- Anonymity (i.e. drivers are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior because they realize they will not likely see the same drivers again in the future)
What are Some Forms of Road Rage?
Road rage can come in the form of aggressive actions, including:
- Yelling and/or cursing at the other driver
- Excessive honking
- Making angry gestures
- Blocking another vehicle from changing lanes
- Running a vehicle off the main road
- Intentionally cutting off another vehicle
- Intentionally ramming another vehicle from behind
- Getting out of your vehicle to confront the other driver
How Should One Deal With Aggressive Drivers?
There are a few helpful tips you can follow to protect yourself on the road from aggressive drivers and avoid road rage accidents that could be deadly. These include:
- Plan to leave ahead of time so that you are not in a rush. When you feel like you are in a rush, you are more likely to engage in risky behavior on the road that could result in a road rage accident.
- Be patient; you do not know what kind of day someone else is having. Be empathetic and drive responsibly.
- Maintain a safe distance from behind another vehicle. Driving too close behind a vehicle increases the risk of a crash, which in turn could lead to a road rage accident.
- Do not use your horn excessively. It may seem like it is helping, but it is not. Instead, it is more likely to annoy other drivers and encourage aggressive behavior.
- If another driver is being aggressive, do not engage. Do your best to avoid eye contact and continue to drive responsibly.
- If you are consistently being followed by an aggressive driver, do your best to get away from them. If this means you need to pull off the highway or drive to the nearest police station, you should do so. However, never allow an aggressive driver to follow you to your home.
- Never stop your vehicle to get out and confront another driver. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but you could literally be risking your life by doing so.