aggressive drivers, Wisconsin Personal Injury AttorneyEvery driver gets frustrated at one time or another. Whether you are running late and stuck in traffic or impatient with slower drivers, it is easy to get worked up behind the wheel. However, while internal frustration is only natural at times, too many drivers allow their impatience to manifest into aggressive driving behaviors or even into road rage.

“Aggressive driving” is considered to be any driving behavior that is likely to endanger others or actually puts them in danger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a substantial number of auto accidents in the United States can be attributed to aggressive drivers. For this reason, everyone on the roads should be aware of the signs of aggressive drivers and should take precautions to stay out of an aggressive driver’s path.

Common Aggressive Driving Behaviors

Many different actions on the road can fall into the “aggressive driving” or “road rage” categories. The following are a few examples of the most common types of aggressive driving or road rage behaviors:

  • Excessive speeding;

  • Following too closely or tailgating;

  • Frequent and unnecessary lane changes;

  • Excessive honking or flashing lights;

  • Cutting off other vehicles;

  • Rude or threatening gestures; and

  • Following vehicles off the road.

While any type of aggressive driving can be dangerous, actions that escalate into road rage can especially threaten your safety.

Tips to Stay Safe

Some accidents involving aggressive driving are bound to happen; however, the following tips may help to keep yourself and your passengers safe when facing an aggressive driver:

  • Move out of the way — Even if you are traveling at the speed limit, you should move over and let a driver pass you if you believe he or she may be aggressive. It is always safer to allow an aggressive driver to pass than to try to stand your ground and allow him or her to tailgate.

  • Do not retaliate or challenge — After a driver cuts you off, it is sometimes tempting to speed up next to them, excessively honk your horn, gesture, or otherwise demonstrate your frustration with their dangerous behavior. However, such retaliation may only fuel the aggressive driver’s anger and lead him or her to commit intentionally harmful acts. Challenging an aggressive driver is equally unwise. If an aggressive driver is tailgating and wanting to pass, slowing down or “boxing” the driver in to prevent him or her from passing may further upset the driver and lead to escalated behaviors.

  • Avoid eye contact and ignore —  Acknowledging an aggressive driver by making eye contact can often enrage the driver or be interpreted as a sign of a challenge. Although it may be difficult, a safe option is to simply ignore an aggressive driver all together by avoiding eye contact, disregarding rude or obscene gestures made by the driver, and trying to remove yourself from the situation.

  • Do not get out of your car — If an aggressive or road raging driver follows you off the roadway and into a parking lot or other location to confront you, stay in your vehicle with the doors locked and drive to the nearest police station for help, making the best effort you can to use busy or primary roadways during travel. Do not drive to your home; seek help immediately.

Call an Attorney Today for Assistance

If you have been the victim of road rage or have sustained injuries due to an aggressive driver, your first call should be to [[title]] Our qualified Green Bay personal injury attorneys and Appleton personal injury attorneys are committed to holding dangerous drivers accountable for their actions and standing up for the rights of injured victims. We always work to develop effective case strategies in every case to help you obtain the maximum financial recovery that you deserve. Our offices are conveniently located in Appleton, Oshkosh, and Green Bay, so please call us today for a free initial consultation at 920-739-7366.