Managing Road Rage | Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm

Managing Road Rage

Jody L. Broaddus

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to get home safely, and another driver cuts you off. Or maybe you’re trying to get to work on time and a car is driving ten miles under the speed limit in the passing lane. Any of these situations can provoke anger in even the calmest of people. However, how you react to these actions can also impact your own safety behind the wheel. Do you retaliate aggressively? Or do you breathe deeply and let the situation pass.

Staying calm and controlling anger behind the wheel is incredibly important to safety. In fact, Edmunds reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that road rage accounts for one in three crashes and two in three traffic accident deaths. As more people move into cities, roadways are becoming more congested, meaning there will be more traffic. It can be difficult to stay calm, especially if others may not be acting considerately. However, staying calm not only protects your safety but also the safety of others around you. What can you do to prevent road rage?

Here are some things to consider:

• Build in extra time for your commute. Stress can lead to greater feelings of anger. If you’re running late to work, you’ll be more likely to react negatively if a driver cuts you off, or if you encounter traffic. Also, if you are ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to stay calm when you encounter regular traffic or drivers behaving badly.

• If you do begin to feel angry, take a moment to breathe deeply. Even a few deep breaths can help you feel better.

• Try not to take it personally. If a driver cuts you off or if another driver is behaving strangely; remember that there may be many reasons why this is happening, and annoying you is probably not one of them. The driver may be late to work or trying to get to his wife’s bedside in the hospital because she’s in labor. You never know. Taking a step back and remembering that slights are not directed at you, in particular, can help you put it into perspective.

• Understand the warning signs of aggressive driving. According to the Insurance Information Institute, some of the leading aggressive acts resulting in accidents include, following too closely, driving on the road shoulder to pass a slower driver or traffic, illegal passing, not yielding right of way, disobeying traffic signals and signs, and speeding.

Sadly, even if you take the time to manage your stress and your reaction behind the wheel, others may not. If you or a loved one was hurt due to the neglectful or aggressive actions of another driver, you may be entitled to seek damages under the law.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a road rage incident, contact our law firm to schedule a Strategy Session to discuss your matter. We can be reached by calling 480-755-7110 in Arizona and 808-647-2423 in Hawaii.

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