All of us at one time or another have been angry behind the wheel. We may have yelled at someone for cutting us off or gotten upset when someone shouted at us. That’s human nature. Unfortunately, there are times when anger behind the wheel escalates and becomes full-blown road rage.
Road rage happens when a driver becomes extremely angry and intends to create or cause physical harm. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one in every three fatal car accidents occurs due to road rage.
How to recognize road rage
Road rage is often referred to as aggressive driving. Learning to recognize an aggressive driver could save your life and the lives of those you love. Some of the behaviors you might see from an aggressive, rage-filled driver include:
- Aggressively flashing their headlights
- Loud, continuous honking of their car horn
- Suddenly breaking in front of you (brake-checking)
- Inappropriate gestures
- Side-swiping you on purpose
- Brandishing a weapon at you
- Throwing objects at your car
- Crashing into you
- Trying to engage you in a fight
- Demanding that you pull over (so they can approach you)
- Trying to run you off the road
How to handle the situation
All of these behaviors can cause serious accidents and even fatalities. That’s why if you see a rage-filled driver you should follow these tips:
- Do not engage with the other driver if at all possible.
- Call 9-1-1 and tell the dispatcher your concerns about this driver.
- Snap a picture of the other driver’s license plate for the police.
- Pull over to the shoulder and let the aggressive driver pass.
Despite your best efforts, you may still end up having an accident due to an overly aggressive driver.m Should that happen, seek assistance to help you with covering your medical bills and damages.