Road rage is an issue for motorists in Virginia and throughout the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving behaviors were involved in 56% of deadly car accidents over a five-year period.
Furthermore, at least 80% of Americans admit that they have felt enraged while driving at least once within the past year. Not only is it important to know how to identify and handle aggressive drivers, but it is helpful to know how to deal with your own road rage.
What are aggressive driving behaviors?
Whether you are running late to a meeting or rushing home from work, you may feel frustrated when stuck behind a slow driver or in traffic. Aggressive driving behaviors put everyone in danger and increase the risk of a serious car accident. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the signs of road rage include the following:
- Driving too fast or racing other vehicles
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Passing on the shoulder of the road
- Cutting off or blocking other vehicles from changing lanes
- Failure to adhere to traffic lights, stop signs or pedestrian crosswalks
- Honking or yelling excessively
Enraged drivers may attempt to cause a physical altercation with another motorist by approaching their vehicle or hitting the other car.
How to stay safe?
Dealing with an angry driver may be difficult, as you may feel inclined to yell back, follow them or engage in similar behaviors. Yet, officers suggest you contact law enforcement rather than try to handle the issue on your own. If you start to feel angry while driving, try turning on some calm music or listening to an audiobook. Deep breathing activities can also help.