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The best way to handle road rage

Now that summer is here, there are more vehicles and construction zones on the road. This means more traffic, accidents, tourists and teen drivers. Being stuck behind a long line of slow-moving cars and dealing with reckless or distracted drivers are enough to make anyone more than irritated.

With 80 percent of drivers exhibiting various levels of road rage, as AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety calculates, you need to know how to handle such behavior from other motorists. It can range from rude language and gestures to following or ramming into your vehicle. When you respond correctly, you can increase safety for yourself and others.

Take the higher road

Instead of returning the inconsiderate action with one of your own, take the higher road. Revenge, no matter how deserving of it the person is, only makes the situation more dangerous for everyone on the road. Ignore the display of anger and avoid doing any of the following behaviors in response:

  • Preventing the offending driver from changing lanes
  • Accelerating to pass the person
  • Slamming on your brakes
  • Tailgating or hitting the other vehicle
  • Yelling or cursing at the driver

If the behavior escalates, call 911 to report the driver and allow authorities to handle the situation. If the motorist continues to follow, threaten, endanger or hurt you or your vehicle in any way, pull into a safe public place for protection and witnesses. The ideal location would be a police station or fire station, but a crowded shopping mall works, too.

Enlist legal assistance

When road rage leads to a motor vehicle accident, you have the right to seek financial compensation from the person responsible. It is best to do this with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. You do not need to interact with the angry motorist and his or her insurance company. Focus on getting the proper medical care and let your lawyer handle the rest.

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