It is not unusual for drivers in Illinois and across the U.S. to feel angry when navigating through heavy traffic. Motorists may get overwhelmed when stuck behind slow drivers or late to an important appointment. AAA reports that at least 80% of American drivers experienced road rage at least once in the past year. Furthermore, approximately 56% of deadly accidents involve at least type of aggressive driving behavior.
It is critical that motorists know how to spot the signs of aggressive drivers in order to minimize the risk of becoming involved in a fatal accident. These behaviors include the following:
- Honking, using obscene gestures and shouting expletives
- Blocking or cutting off other drivers
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Failing to yield to other drivers right of way
- Failing to adhere to traffic signals and stop signs
- Speeding and racing other vehicles
In some cases, angry drivers may intentionally hit other vehicles or even get out of their cars to start physical altercations with other motorists. People who have road rage can pose a deadly threat to others as well.
Although people may feel defensive and react to aggressive drivers if they become a target, it is best to avoid interacting with them. Law enforcement officers urge drivers to keep to themselves. Drivers should avoid making eye contact, yelling or returning obscene hand gestures. Instead, motorists should contact law enforcement and let them know the location of the issue. Interacting with enraged drivers may only exacerbate the problem and further enrage the aggressive driver.
If you feel angry while driving, pull over and take a few minutes to calm down, listen to the radio or take a few deep breaths.