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4 Tips for Preventing Road Rage Accidents

Car Accident Lawyer

We’ve all heard the horror stories. One driver inadvertently cuts off another driver or does something else that incites the second driver. The second driver then becomes enraged and takes retaliatory action.

While you of course have no way of controlling other drivers’ behaviors, you do, nevertheless, have at least some control over preventing a road rage incident. As our friends at Hall-Justice explain, there are four things to do and not do in a driving situation where road rage is likely.

1. Always Drive Defensively.

Just because you’re a conscientious driver who obeys speed limits and other laws, don’t assume that all other drivers are, too. Unfortunately, they’re not. Therefore, always stay alert to any unusual driving behavior occurring around you. Be especially alert to any motorist who appears to be speeding, weaving in and out of his or her lane or making abrupt stops and starts at stop signs or traffic lights. Avoid such drivers whenever possible by giving them a wide berth.

2. Don’t Honk Your Horn Unless Absolutely Necessary.

No one appreciates another driver honking his or her horn. Some drivers, however, react more negatively than others. So only use your horn when you find it necessary to alert another driver of your presence, like when he or she is drifting into your lane, or warn an animal or another driver of approaching danger. That was the original purpose of car horns. They were never meant to be used fir goading or scolding purposes.

3. Don’t “Feed the Trolls.”

If another motorist flips you the bird or engages in any other provocative behavior, don’t respond in kind. You’ll only escalate the situation. Anger tends to beget anger, so be the adult in the room – or more accurately, on the road – and control your temper. After all, it’s the only temper you can control.

4. Never, Under Any Circumstances, Voluntarily Stop Your Car, Get Out and Confront the Other Driver.

In a road rage situation, your safest place is in your vehicle. Keep your windows rolled up, your doors locked, your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road. Try to avoid making eye contact with the other driver. With any luck at all, he or she will pass you and leave you in the dust, literally or figuratively. If not, and you have hands-free technology installed in your vehicle, call 911 on your cell phone. Report your location as accurately as possible, the direction in which you’re driving and what the other driver is doing that’s putting you at risk. Stay on the line with the 911 operator until police officers arrive and use your peripheral vision to describe the other vehicle and its driver to the best of your ability.

While none of these techniques will stop an angry driver intent on doing you harm, they may well avert an accident and save your life. If ever involved in a car accident where road rage was a factor, consider contacting an experienced car accident lawyer for legal advice.