As time goes on, more and more details are coming out regarding the brutal confrontation between an SUV driver and a gang of motorcyclists in New York, shedding spotlight on the ever-growing problem of road rage in this country. People on the road are often in a hurry, and impatience can cause agitation with slow-moving traffic. It’s important to know how dangerous road rage can be and how it can affect the likelihood of a driver being involved in an accident.

Overreacting

In some cases of road rage, a driver will get cut off by another car and become incensed, focused on getting some sort of revenge. This typically will manifest in tailgating behavior, which can quickly cause an accident if the car in front of them stops suddenly. Rear-ending someone is nearly always considered the rear-ender’s fault, since it generally means they were following too closely to make a safe stop. As you might imagine, tailgating in response to being cut off is an overreaction indicative of road rage tendencies, so it’s important to keep a level head when you’re driving.

Other Indications of Road Rage

Other common signs that someone is experiencing road rage are driving aggressively, cutting off other drivers, chasing motorists, honking their horn excessively, shouting or gesturing at other drivers, exiting the car to confront another driver, and even hitting other vehicles on purpose. Obviously, aggression is not an excuse for hitting another driver’s vehicle. If you find yourself become frustrated while you’re driving, remind yourself that soon enough, you’ll be out of traffic and arriving at your destination. Take a few deep breaths. If you are commonly driving the same irritating routes (for instance, a packed expressway on your way to work), try to research other routes, or find something that will keep your mind off how long you are stuck in bumper-to-bumper rush hour—books on tape, for instance. Keep yourself and the cars around you safe by staying calm behind the wheel.

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