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What to do if you encounter a driver with road rage

When people hear the term “road rage,” they often picture two drivers standing outside their cars screaming and swearing at each other. Maybe there’s some pushing and shoving. Sometimes, in tragic scenarios, one or both uses a weapon on the other.

However, many instances of road rage involve aggressive driving that can harm or kill the driver who’s the object of the rage — and possibly nearby motorists. Over half of all traffic fatalities are caused by an aggressive driver.

For example, a driver may react badly to being “cut off” by someone. Some drivers take being passed by another driver as an insult. When these things happen, they respond by tailgating or even intentionally hitting the other driver. They may become so angry that they begin speeding and ignoring other cars, signals and signs.

We’ve all been the victim of an aggressive driver at some point. Sometimes, it’s because we made a mistake — like not noticing that they were approaching when we changed lanes. Other times, we have no idea what we’ve done. Either way, it can be frightening.

Here are some tips if you encounter an aggressive driver who seems consumed by anger:

  • Slow down and put some space between you and the aggressive driver. Move to the furthest right lane if you can. Let them pass you and be on their way.
  • Do not make eye contact. You might want to make an apologetic wave. However, be careful not to make any hand gestures that could be misconstrued as offensive or angry.
  • Never get out of your car or otherwise engage with the other driver. That’s just going to exacerbate the situation. Keep your own emotions under control.

If you are injured in a crash caused by an aggressive driver, it’s essential to get the compensation you need and deserve to deal with medical bills, physical therapy and other expenses and damages.

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