Road rage incidents increase during the summer months. There are a few reasons for this. One is simple: the heat. When temperatures climb, drivers’ discomfort pushes them to act and react in more irrational ways. Another reason for increased road rage incidents is the increase in drivers on the road, especially in tourist areas. Visitors driving through unfamiliar areas often drive slowly, trying not to miss important directions to their destinations, and they are often not familiar with the general culture and driving style of area. This can anger impatient locals, leading to incidents of aggression on the roadway.
Road rage causes accidents. Speeding, aggressive swerving, cutting off other drivers, and inciting aggression are all forms of road rage. When a victim is injured in a car accident, he or she can seek compensation for damages through a personal injury claim.
Know How to Avoid Triggering Other Drivers
Although you might be tempted to “flip the bird” to that driver who just cut you off, resist the temptation. Road rage never resolves problems, it only exacerbates them.
Know the actions that can trigger other drivers into acting aggressively. These include:
- Honking when inappropriate;
- Using rude hand gestures with other drivers;
- Shouting at other drivers;
- Using your phone while driving;
- Changing lanes without signaling;
- Intentionally driving slowly in front of another driver to frustrate him or her; and
Remember, you are not only putting yourself in danger by triggering another driver, you are putting everyone on the road in danger. Say you shout at another driver, causing him or her to speed or swerve to try to catch up with you to shout back and in the process, he or she collides with another vehicle. The driver or passengers of that other vehicle, completely innocent bystanders, can suffer severe injuries.
Keep Cool Behind the Wheel
Saying you will avoid road rage and actually doing it can be two different things. You are responsible for your own actions, and if you know you are prone to emotional reactions, learn how to calm yourself when you are driving.
Heat pushes drivers to act irrationally. On hot days, use your car’s air conditioning system to keep yourself cool. It is also important to keep your body cool and hydrated by having a water bottle in the car to drink if you are thirsty. When you feel yourself becoming worked up, take three or four deep breaths. Focus on your breathing, not your surroundings. This will refocus your mind to the task at hand: driving safely to your destination.
Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Staying in control of your own actions can help you avoid a car accident at any time of year. But it cannot completely eliminate this chance. If you are involved in a car accident and suffer monetary damages, work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for those damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today to set up your initial consultation in our office.