Tailgating. Spontaneous swerves in no-passing zones. Flashing the high beams. Leaning on the horn and flipping a one-finger salute. Running red lights or jumping stop signs. When dealing with aggressive drivers, you are likely to encounter these behaviors and more.
Protecting yourself on the road takes effort and planning. Be sure you have coverage in place in case the worst happens, and you find yourself in an accident. The Lake Region Insurance Agency independent agents are here to help.
Visit our website today for a free quote and insurance review. We’ll make sure you can breathe easy no matter what or who you encounter on the roads of Greater Minnesota.
Alarming Aggressive Driving Statistics
Here is a stark reality check. The vast majority of car crashes are due to human error. And about a third of those are a result of road rage.
Incidents involving angry horn honks, sudden lane changes, rude hand gestures, and cursing are far too common. Even more concerning, almost 40% of these incidents involve firearms.
With those aggressive driving statistics, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of at least some of this behavior. In fact, statistics indicate you may have even dished a little of it out, as well.
Having a game plan for dealing with aggressive drivers and managing frustration while driving is crucial. This planning can help keep you and others safe. Working through a highly-charged moment on the road requires some thought ahead of time. The temptation to engage with an aggressive driver can be strong, but with preparation, you can navigate it carefully.
Tips for Dealing With Aggressive Drivers
You cannot control every driver around you, no matter how conscientious and skilled you are behind the wheel. So how do you stay safe when someone else drives aggressively and unpredictably?
Here are several tips that allow you to go high when others go low. And often, non-action may be the name of the game when it comes to escaping road rage accident-free.
- Stay out of the way. If a road hog needs their space, give it to them. It’ll be a temporary inconvenience for you and could save your life and ensure your passengers’ safety.
- Resist the invitation to the crazy dance. You may want to hold your ground and not let the other driver get away with bad behavior. But, challenging a reckless or aggressive driver on the road is dangerous. Speeding up, staying level, or “revenge-passing” only puts you at more risk and escalates a bad situation. Stay in your lane, drive the speed limit, and keep your breathing slow and calm.
- Keep your eyes ahead. Making eye contact with an angry driver can appear confrontational. We know you’re not a marshmallow, but you also don’t have to prove it. Allow a temporary situation to remain short-lived by keeping your eyes focused on the road.
- Buckle up. Of course, we know you had your seat belt on before your key hit the ignition, right? Being strapped in when confronted with an aggressive driver provides extra safety. If things get out of hand, and you have to maneuver your car quickly, you have a level of protection in place. Always use your seatbelt and stay safe. Be sure that everyone in your vehicle does the same.
- Ignore, breathe, and focus. That hand gesture someone just offered? It’s unimportant in the grand scheme of life. Instead of returning the “greeting,” focus on the road. Let them pass while you take several slow, deep breaths. Although you can certainly report them later, you need to remain calm in the moment.
- Record and report. Once it is safe to do so, it’s okay to pull over and report the car to the authorities. If you have a passenger who can help you record or remember the license plate number, that will be useful information for the police.
- Stay put. Remain inside your vehicle when road rage rears its ugly head. Sometimes there is a temptation to get out at a light and deal with the other driver. This rarely, if ever, ends well. Your car is likely the safest place to be, assuming you keep your cool in a sensitive situation.
Tools to Avoid Raging
Rush hour traffic, accidents, construction delays, and detours can cause the most level-headed drivers to lose their cool once in a while. So what do you do if you’re the one feeling the rage?
We’ve all had those moments of extreme annoyance. We’re late for an appointment and stuck behind a person driving 10 miles below the speed limit. It’s really difficult to stay calm.
Try out a few of these behind-the-wheel calming techniques, and give the drivers around you the benefit of the doubt.
- Allow more travel time. If you leave your house a few minutes earlier for an appointment, you’ll have some wiggle room if you get in a gnarly road situation on the way.
- Play relaxing or enjoyable music. Sing along, loudly and poorly, if necessary.
- Breathe slowly and deeply. When you feel yourself getting tense, slow down your thoughts, and remind yourself that you’re not alone in your frustration. Getting angry and exploding might give you temporary satisfaction, but could cause real harm and long-term damage to all parties. If you need to pull off the road to walk, stretch, or let off some steam, do that.
Call Lake Region Insurance Agency
If you’ve been in an accident from dealing with aggressive drivers, call your Lake Region agent right away. We are by your side through each step of your claim for a fair settlement, speedy processing, and quick pay-out. When the road becomes not-so-friendly, your friends at Lake Region can help you get back on track.
If you aren’t sure about your auto coverage, call us today for a free car insurance review and quote. Our friendly agents in Cokato, Willmar, and New London, MN, are here to help. As independent brokers, we can shop from multiple providers to find the best fit for you.