Road Rage Accidents – How to Protect Yourself
As most of us try to cram more activities and responsibilities into an already packed schedule, we tend to push ourselves to the limit. One side effect of so many of us trying to reach too many places and get too much done in an unrealistic time frame has been a dramatic increase in the number of road rage accidents. Assuming that you’ve managed to control the rage you may be feeling, what should you do if you encounter it from another driver while on the road?
While one study, by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada, analyzed almost six thousand road rage complaints spanning an eight year period and came to the conclusion that most road rage offenses occur on Tuesdays in September, that may not be a helpful statistic for most of us. Let’s assume that you can’t simply avoid driving on Tuesdays in September. If that’s the case, then here we offer a handful of tips that we believe to be more practical.
Six Tips to Avoid Road Rage Accidents
- Be Alert for Angry Drivers – As distracted as many of us are throughout the day, the streets and freeways are not the place to indulge your preoccupations. Keep your eyes forward, and check your mirrors frequently for signs of an angry or aggressive driver. These drivers almost always exhibit the same characteristics: darting in and out of traffic, changing lanes abruptly without signaling, tailgating, running up behind other cars and slamming on the brakes, etc. If you can identify these drivers before you have to encounter them, you’re avoiding a possible confrontation.
- Stay Away From Aggressive Drivers – Once you’ve identified a driver as aggressive, and possibly angry, do your best to stay away from them. Allow a wide berth, if possible, to let them pass you. If you’re following them, stay well back and allow them to get further ahead of you. No destination or appointment is important enough to put yourself in jeopardy. The more distance you can leave between yourself and a potentially angry driver, the better off you’ll be. If they get close, back off.
- Resist the Urge to Face Off – Drivers with road rage are always on the lookout for someone to challenge them. If you give them a reason, they’ll be even more inclined to dangerous and aggressive behavior. You stand to gain nothing, and may well put yourself at risk, by getting into a confrontation. The temporary satisfaction you may feel from a well-executed hand gesture is not worth the potential cost. Be the cooler head.
- Take a Deep Breath – If you start to feel offended by another driver’s tactics, try calming yourself down. Practice some deep breathing, count to ten, think of a happy place that you’d rather be (and where they aren’t invited) and bring your heart rate back down so you won’t be tempted to antagonize them.
- Be Nice – Easier said than done? No doubt. But, even if you have to smile through gritted teeth, show the other driver that you aren’t angered by their immature actions. Let them move on so they can vent their rage on someone else who isn’t as calm and understanding as you are.
- Contact the Police – If an aggressive driver is a danger to others, and you believe their driving presents an unacceptable risk, notify the police as soon as you can safely use a phone. You could be saving someone’s life.
What If You’re Not Successful?
If you’ve been injured due to a road rage accidents, you need to do what is necessary to ensure that the offending driver is held accountable. Hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in these cases will help you recover expenses for damages and injuries, and make sure that the offender is properly punished for putting others in harm’s way.
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Let Aslin Tutuyan Help You Evaluate Your Accident Case
Aslin Tutuyan is a personal injury attorney with The Mandell Law Firm in Woodland Hills, California. Mandell Law is an aggressive personal injury law firm serving clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, the Greater Los Angeles area, and Southern California. Experienced and reputable, our attorneys provide hands-on care and sincere commitment to victims of personal injury and harms of all kinds, including accidents and negligence. Contact Aslin Tutuyan for a free consultation at 818.886.6600.