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