Aggressive driving is a major factor in many needless vehicle accidents. Idaho Transportation Department statistics show aggressive driving contributed to at least 218 deaths on Idaho roads between 2010 and 2012. Another 1,840 people were seriously injured in aggressive-driver-involved vehicle crashes.
Good drivers know that traffic conditions and other drivers’ behaviors are out of their control. What we can control is our own emotions and reactions. Avoiding confrontation is not always possible, but driving courteously and safely is less likely to aggravate other drivers who might already be stressed, impatient or inconsiderate.
Good Driver Etiquette
1. Be predictable. Always use your indicators to give plenty of warning, change lanes correctly and don’t drive slowly in the passing lane.
2. Be polite. Don’t follow other cars too closely. Allow other drivers to merge in front of you and give way to others when you are pulling out. Don’t block intersections.
3. Don’t start it. Excessive horn blowing, headlight flashing and rude gestures might provoke already stressed drivers.
4. Drive defensively and learn to expect the unexpected.
5. If you do make a mistake, admit it and try to signal to the other driver that you are sorry.
Controlling Your Own Anger
1. Safety. Safety. Safety. It should be your number one concern while driving.
2. I’m late! Plan ahead and leave enough time for the trip. When you are running late, you add unnecessary stress to the situation.
3. Nobody’s perfect. Mistakes happen. Accept that maybe what you observed to be an aggressive act by another driver was only a simple mistake.
4. You’re not the boss of me. Don’t let another driver that you don’t even know dictate your mood for the day.
5. You’re not the boss of them, either. It is not your job to punish other drivers for their poor driving.
6. If your find it hard to control your emotions, see your doctor. You might have other health disorders.
If You Are the Target of Rage, Here’s What You Can Do
1. Don’t make it personal. Recognize that an aggressive driver is not necessarily targeting you specifically so don’t retaliate.
2. Be polite and courteous, especially when other drivers are not.
3. Don’t make eye contact. Sometimes simple eye contact can set off an aggressive driver.
4. Keep your distance. If the other driver is behind you, keep your speed steady or pull over safely and let them pass. If they are in front of you, slow down to increase the gap between you and them.
5. If you are harassed and followed, do not stop or get out of your vehicle. Don’t go home, either, but drive to the nearest police station or another safe spot.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident caused by an aggressive driver, a personal injury attorney can help protect your legal rights. Please call Holzer Edwards at (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.