Avoiding anger on the road

Nearly 80% of respondents to a 2019 AAA Foundation survey admitted that they expressed significant anger or aggression at least once while driving in the previous year. Missouri residents should know that though they may feel justified in feeling anger behind the wheel, they only put themselves and others in danger by doing so. One study looked at fatal crashes during a five-year period and found aggressive driving to be a factor in 56% of them.

It’s important to know what the most common forms of road rage are and how to avoid them. Enraged drivers may tailgate, continuously honk the horn, make offensive gestures or cut off another vehicle on purpose. Traffic jams, long red lights and full parking lots can all contribute to a driver’s anger. Sometimes, drivers will let loose their anger more easily if they feel that their anonymity is ensured.

To avoid road rage, drivers are advised never to rush. They can plan ahead to give themselves time to reach their destination. Drivers should also yield to other drivers and make only positive gestures, such as a wave of the hand. Drivers should give slow drivers the benefit of the doubt as they may be lost. Honking the horn out of frustration is bad. Stopping to confront another driver is unwise and unsafe.

Road rage incidents can lead to a car being bumped off the road. Those who crash and are injured in such an incident may be able to file a personal injury claim, assuming that the guilty party is identified. Since aggressive driving is criminal behavior, plaintiffs may sue not just for compensatory damages but also for punitive damages, which go beyond compensation and are meant as punishment. Victims may want a lawyer on their case, especially for negotiations.