How to Handle Aggressive Drivers
Most motorists are familiar with aggressive drivers—those who speed excessively, change lanes frequently and often without signaling, pass improperly, or run stop signs and red lights. Aggressive drivers may even resort to tailgating, flashing lights, honking, or making gestures to intimidate other drivers or air their frustrations. According to the National Safety Council, aggressive driving is on the rise as roadways become more congested and law enforcement struggles to maintain and enforce traffic laws. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that after six years of declining vehicle crashes, a 3.3 percent increase in traffic fatalities was seen in 2012. Speeding accounted for nearly 30 percent of the fatalities. However, as the risk of encountering aggressive drivers increases, there are important steps motorists can take to protect themselves and their passengers.
Reduce Your Own Aggressive Driving Tendencies
Drivers may not recognize their own aggressive driving habits. Therefore it is important to focus on your own driving habits and recognize circumstances in which your emotions may run high, when you might take higher risks on the road, or when you may be distracted. Strive to be a considerate driver and plan ahead, allow for delays, be aware of the motorists around you, and adhere to the local speed limit and traffic laws.
Get Out of the Way
When you see a potentially aggressive driver on the road, give him or her plenty of room. Maintain a safe speed and following distance and make sure to signal before you change lanes.
Avoid Triggering a Confrontation
Do not challenge aggressive drivers by speeding up or trying to “hold your own” in your lane. Use your signal and move to a slower lane when it is safe to do so. Avoid eye contact and ignore gestures or verbal threats.
Report Aggressive Drivers
You or your passenger may call the police and provide a vehicle description, license number, location, and direction of travel. If an aggressive driver is involved in an accident down the road, stop at a safe distance and report the driving behavior you witnessed to police once they arrive. When reporting aggressive drivers, remember to do so safely and pull over if possible.
While these steps may help prevent a dangerous encounter with an aggressive driver, not all car accidents can be prevented. If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving an aggressive driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our team of experienced Green Bay car accident attorneys and Appleton car accident attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. to discuss your concerns and learn about your legal options. We have offices in Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh and New London.