Even kind, even-keeled people have experienced frustration and anger while driving. The reason, often, is that another driver’s errant ways put your life in danger. You’re not an angry person, per se, but seeing someone run a red light and nearly hit your car — while your young children are inside — is clearly enough to upset you.
The downside to this emotional response is that it can lead to road rage, and that can increase the odds of an accident after the initial event. Here are some tips to help you avoid falling into this trap:
- Listen to calm music that you like, which helps to put you in a better mood.
- Try to reduce stress even before an incident. For example, leave when you still have plenty of time so that you’re not facing the stress of trying to get somewhere on a tight deadline.
- Don’t honk your horn, unless you’re merely doing it to alert someone to a hazard. Don’t do it out of anger.
- Don’t make eye contact. Many road rage incidents escalate when one person glares at the other. That could prompt an obscene hand gesture — another thing you want to avoid — and cause tempers to flare. Just keep your mind on driving and your eyes on the road.
- If you can, create space between the two cars. Slow down, change lanes or do whatever else you have to do to move away from that person. This avoids road rage and also keeps you safe if the other person is a poor driver.
Unfortunately, even if you stay calm, other drivers won’t always do the same. When aggressive driving leads to accidents and injuries, you need to know your rights. If you’re injured due to another driver’s mistake, you have every right to ask for compensation for your losses. An experienced attorney can show you how and help protect your interests.