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How to Deal with Road Rage in Wyoming

What is Road Rage?

Road rage is a colloquial term for aggressive driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.”

Road rage can look different from driver to driver. Milder forms of road rage incidents include honking, yelling, and making rude gestures at another motorist. More dangerous behaviors include tailgating, swerving, blocking other vehicles from changing lanes, running red lights and stop signs, and refusing to yield the right-of-way.

Unfortunately, road rage often snowballs–one angry driver can cause several other drivers on the road to become upset and exhibit their own aggressive behaviors. In most road rage events, there are no winners. When someone allows their anger to take the wheel, it puts everyone at risk.

Common Causes of Road Rage

Road ragers can be triggered by even the most minor inconveniences. Some of the most common factors in road rage events include:

  • Heavy traffic
  • Running late
  • Another driver’s unsafe driving (whether intentional or not)
  • A feeling of superiority over other drivers
  • Poor coping mechanisms
  • Learned behavior

Regardless of what causes a person to drive aggressively, the behavior is unacceptable. Aggressive driving creates dangerous situations for everyone on and near the road. In fact, road rage is a very common cause of car accidents.

If you find yourself often feeling angry, frustrated, or overly stressed behind the wheel, this isn’t abnormal. However, there are ways to prevent your emotions from turning into dangerous actions.

How to Avoid Road Rage

Cool off before hitting the road

If you’re already worked up or upset about something before you even get in the car, dealing with traffic and other drivers is not likely to be a soothing experience. Give yourself some time to calm down before starting your drive.

You may be in a time crunch, but you can likely find a few minutes to take some deep breaths, think of positive things in your life, and maybe grab a snack. Even a five-minute cool-off period can help relax you considerably.

Stay comfortable

When driving, you’re more likely to become upset if you’re already uncomfortable. If you’re too hot, hungry, or stressed, you may react more aggressively than you ordinarily would.

Keep your air at a comfortable temperature and listen to something soothing, whether that’s music, a podcast, or a radio talk show. Consider keeping a small snack in your car–this can come in handy during heavy traffic or long road trips too.

Slow down

If you consistently drive over the speed limit, you may often feel like other drivers are intentionally pulling out right in front of you. In reality, they have less time to react to you. While it may feel like they’re driving aggressively, they may just have misjudged your speed.

By slowing down, you create a safer environment for everyone. You allow others time to see you and plan their actions accordingly.

Remember that other drivers are human too

People make mistakes. Even the best drivers in the world have made a bad decision while on the road. The next time someone cuts you off, remember that you, too, have inconvenienced other drivers before.

Give the benefit of the doubt

People drive unsafely all the time, unfortunately. There isn’t always a good reason for it. However, imagine that the person speeding past you or swerving around cars is trying to get to the hospital. Perhaps they’re late for something important. Or, maybe they’re just having a bad day like everyone does from time to time.

There aren’t any good excuses for driving unsafely, but fortunately, it’s not your job to fix anyone else’s behavior. Extend them the grace you would like others to offer to you in the same situation.

What to Do When Faced with an Aggressive Driver

Create distance

If you find yourself near a dangerous driver who is tailgating you, swerving between lanes, or trying to run cars off the road, get as far away from them as possible. Slow down, change lanes, let them by; do whatever you can to create space. The farther away you are from a road rage driver, the less likely you are to be involved in any accident they may cause.

Don’t reciprocate

As the victim of road rage, it can be very tempting to mirror the other driver’s behavior. However, this will likely just escalate the situation.

If another driver is behaving aggressively toward you, do not make eye contact. Do not make obscene gestures or yell at them. Practice defensive driving and try to put distance between your cars.

Don’t stop or pull over

When faced with an aggressive driver, do not stop your car and do not get out of the vehicle. This can be incredibly dangerous for several reasons. If you stop in or near traffic, you risk causing an accident. If the other motorist also chooses to get out of their car, you may become involved in a physical altercation that you did not ask for.

Seek a safe place if needed

If the aggressive driver is following you, do not go home. Find a safe place, like the nearest police station. If you feel that you are in immediate danger, lock your doors and call law enforcement

Inform the dispatcher that you are being followed by a dangerous driver. Be prepared to offer identifying information, like a description of the vehicle, their license plate number, and your location.

How a Wyoming Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If you have been involved in a car accident caused by a dangerous driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Wyoming Advocates can help you understand your legal options and build a strong claim.

Your Advocate will be by your side every step of the way. Our team will listen to your story, help you access the medical care you need, negotiate with insurance providers, and represent you in court if necessary. With The Advocates on your side, all you need to do is focus on feeling better.

You deserve excellent legal representation for your personal injury claim. You deserve an Advocate.