Aggression and driving is a dangerous combination and one of the top causes of car accidents. Aggressive drivers disobey rules of the road and put everyone around them, including themselves, at risk. They might run stop signs or red lights. They might tailgate or pass other cars in no-passing zones. Other forms of aggressive driving include speeding, failing to yield the right of way, not using signals when making turns and taking out frustrations on others sharing the road.
Anyone who drives will, unfortunately, come across an aggressive driver. No one wants to be on the receiving end of someone’s road rage, but it’s important to know what to do if you encounter one of these dangerous and reckless motorists.
The following are tips, offered by Progressive Insurance, to reduce your risk of an accident if you come across an aggressive driver:
- Keep your doors locked: If you are stopped at a light, an aggressive driver might get out of the car and try to confront you. In addition to locking the doors, you should leave room between your car and the one in front so you can drive away if necessary.
- Avoid conflict with the other driver: You might be tempted to honk your horn or make a gesture at the other driver, but that may only escalate the situation. Stay calm. Be polite and courteous.
- Report the aggressive driver: Some states have special phone numbers to call and report aggressive drivers. You can dial #77 on a cell phone in West Virginia and 1-877-7-PATROL in Ohio. You also can simply call 911. Be sure to give details like the license plate, the vehicle description and the location and travel direction of the aggressive driver.
Factors that contribute to aggressive driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the results of a study the agency conducted to assess the impact of programs implemented to reduce the incidence of aggressive driving. Several factors contribute to aggressive driving, including:
- Running late
- Traffic delays
- Disregard for others
- Disregard for the law
- Habitual or clinical behavior
To reduce the risk of becoming an aggressive driver, motorists should always allow enough time for a trip. In the event of a traffic delay, try to stay calm. Listen to soothing music. Make sure your seat position is set correctly and the climate in the car is comfortable for you.
Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?
If you’re in an accident with an aggressive driver, call the police. An officer can investigate and help show the other driver was at fault. Importantly, seek medical attention. Don’t try to shake off an injury. A sore back or headache could be signs of a serious medical problem. Additionally, injuries sometimes are not apparent immediately after the accident. A doctor can examine you and may find “hidden” injuries.
Accident cases involving aggressive drivers can become complicated. An aggressive driver might deny doing anything wrong. The insurance company may downplay your injuries to reduce the value of your claim.
To protect your rights, you need an experienced attorney on your side. At Recht Law Offices, our lawyers fight to maximize compensation for clients. Contact us today for a free consultation. We have offices in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.