Road rage—or aggressive driving—can come in the form of tailgating, abrupt lane changes, and speeding. It can occur when an angry or impatient motorist or passenger intentionally uses their vehicle in a physical assault of another driver during a traffic dispute.
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Examples of Aggressive Driving
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 mph.
- Running a red light or stop sign.
- Making a right turn on red without stopping.
- Tailgating excessively.
- Driving in the left lane excessively at the posted speed limit—blocking the passing lane.
- Making hand or finger gestures at other drivers.
- Unnecessary use of high beam headlights.
- Honking at other drivers blocking or slowing traffic.
- Abrupt, un-signaled changes of lanes.
- Failure to use turn signals when turning.
- Flashing light to signal a desire to pass.
When and Where Does it Occur?
- Road rage is most likely to occur on a Friday afternoon. It is during the afternoon peak traffic hours that drivers are most apt to be both fatigued and rushed.
- Road rage incidents occur most often during the summer months.
- Urban areas are the most frequently reported location for road rage incidents.
- Road rage happens most often in moderately congested traffic, perhaps because heavily congested traffic conditions lower driver’s expectations.
Avoiding Road Rage
- Avoid cutting other drivers off in traffic.
- Don’t tailgate—Allow at least two-second space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
- Signal several hundred feet before you change lanes or make a turn.
- Avoid making any gestures or eye contact with another driver.
- Be courteous in the use of high-beam headlights.
- Don’t flash your lights or blow your horn as a signal to pass another vehicle.
- Forget winning and allow yourself enough time for your trip.
- Obey speed limits.
- Drive in the right of middle lane; pass on the left.
- Stop at stop signs and red lights; don’t run yellow lights.
- Don’t block intersections.
- Respect pedestrian right-of-way in crosswalks.
- Put yourself in the other driver’s shoes. Don’t take other driver’s actions personally.
- If someone follows you after an on-the-road encounter, drive to a public place or to the nearest police station.
- Report any aggressive driving incidents to the police immediately.
Source: American Crime Prevention Institute