An aggressive driver’s anger may be short-lived but the danger they present could affect you for years to come. If you encounter an angry driver at 15 mph or 75 mph, it is important to remain calm and remember how to protect yourself.
Action and emotion
Until self-driving cars become the norm, one of the most dangerous things inside a car will be the driver. As a driver, you must balance emotion and reaction to stay safe on the road. However, other drivers might not be so careful.
Factors that contribute to road rage incidents include:
- Pressure for time
- Frustration over driving conditions
- Lack of emotional intelligence
The consequences of road rage can range from a speeding ticket to conviction for battery, assault, child endangerment, harassment or any number of other crimes. While road rage itself is not a crime, it often leads to one if the situation if not de-escalated.
What you can do
While you can’t control other drivers, you can do your part to de-escalate dangerous situations. Instead of fighting fire with fire, try the following:
- Remain calm: Take calming breaths, try to tune out the angry driver, keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road
- Avoid eye contact: Can be difficult if driver leaves their vehicle or purposely drives next to you
- Let them pass: Move to the other lane or take the next exit if you can do so safely
- Be aware of your surroundings: Try to remember your current mile marker and the aggressive vehicle’s make, model and/or license plate number. Keep your doors locked.
- If you see something, say something: If you think are being followed or feel unsafe, call 911. If you are on a state or federal highway and you see another driver being aggressive or creating a hazardous road condition, you can also call the Texas Department of Public Safety non-emergency hotline.
You may encounter a dangerous driver anywhere at any time. If you are the victim of a road rage incident, an attorney can explain your legal options to pursue damages or compensation for your injuries.