Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

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Road Rage

Americans love to exercise their right to free speech, and never has this been more apparent than what is now being displayed on our city streets and highways. Road rage and aggressive driving have become all the rage and unfortunately with some surprising unintended consequences.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, road rage is defined as an “uncontrolled anger” that results in violence or threatening violence towards another motorist, passenger, or pedestrian on the road. Road rage is in fact criminal behavior, and as such, can be prosecuted under existing laws. Road rage can also be considered as “an extreme act of aggressive behavior” but differs from aggressive driving, in that with aggressive driving, no violent actions are displayed.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving includes speeding up and slowing down, tailgating, abrupt lane changes, honking, yelling, making gestures and sudden breaking used to anger another driver, but these potentially dangerous behaviors are traffic offenses, and are not considered criminal behavior. It has been determined that the majority of American drivers have exhibited some form of aggressive driving in the past year, but these actions, while dangerous, were not criminal in nature.

Why Are We So Sensitive to the Way Other People Drive!

Why are the driving habits of other drivers getting on our nerves? There is no easy answer to this question but with more and more drivers entering our already congested roadways, increased travel times and traffic congestion are all placing undue stress on the vast majority of drivers. Many of these road rage-type behaviors are precipitated by other drivers displaying unsafe driving practices. Texting, swerving, tailgating, failure to use proper turn signals for lane changing and turning, cutting someone off, excessive use of a horn and using the left-hand lane as a travel lane instead of a passing lane, all contribute to causing other drivers to become frustrated and often angry.

What to do if you’re a Victim of Road Rage

If you are the victim of a road rage incident, the first rule of thumb is, don’t engage. Let cooler heads prevail and if you are at fault for causing the other driver to yell or honk, do not respond or make eye contact. Second, if the incident escalates to a rage or threatening action against you, slow down and move over to a road position where the other driver can’t engage you. In most cases your lack of willingness to engage the other driver will diffuse the situation. If on the other hand the driver becomes more aggressive or exhibits dangerous behaviors and you feel threatened, call 911 and report the incident immediately. Do not pull over and stop; and do not get out of your car. Sometimes an aggressive driver might view you stopping your car as an invitation for confrontation. If the driver starts to follow you drive to the nearest police station or public facility where there are lots of people, but do not engage the driver. Stay in your car, call police and wait for help to arrive. Try to remain calm. Maintaining your composure often times reduces the aggressor’s hostility towards you. If confronted, try and diffuse the situation by admitting blame for causing the situation even if you were not at fault. If you are the witness to a road rage perpetrated by another driver, calmly move out of harm’s way. Then try and document the situation so if called upon as a witness, you can provide evidence to the incident in question.

Jacksonville Car Accident Injury Lawyers

If you or a family member has been injured in an accident due to a road rage incident you need the advice and legal counsel of an experienced Jacksonville personal injury attorney. Wood, Atter and Wolf have been representing injured victims and their families for over 50 years. We specialize in car accident injury cases and have represented thousands of accident victims and their families receive the just compensation they deserve. Give Michael Atter and David Wolf a call today at 904-355-8888 or visit us on the web at woodatter.com. Our personal injury consultations are always free and there are no fees or cost unless we win money for you.

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