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Here’s How You Keep Yourself Safe From an Aggressive Driver

By Grant Law Office on October 7, 2020

busy city street with taxis and passenger cars

You are making your daily commute, a drive you know like the back of your hand when suddenly a loud horn blares from behind you. You check your rearview mirror and there is a car driving so close behind you that you can make out the furious face of the driver. His teeth are gritted, his eyes are bulging, and you can see the veins on his head and neck pulsing. You have just come across an aggressive driver and have no idea what to do.

How Road Rage Becomes Dangerous

We have all heard about the dangers of drunk drivers and those who text while behind the wheel, but angry and aggressive drivers are rarely touched on. Truthfully, these drivers are just as, if not more, dangerous than drunk or distracted drivers. Aggressive drivers often speed and tailgate, allowing themselves to get too close to other drivers at dangerous speeds. This means that any accident with a driver experiencing road rage is likely to be high-speed and high impact. There are very few accidents that are minor when it comes to aggressive drivers. Common injuries following an accident with an aggressive include brain damage, spine injuries, and even limb loss. Watching out for an aggressive driver may be the only way to protect yourself from such catastrophic injuries.

The Telltale Signs of an Aggressive Driver

There are many signs that you can spot when a driver begins to lose control of their emotions. Knowing these signs could be the difference between being injured in a serious accident and getting to your destination with little incident. Some behaviors to watch out for include:

  • Tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Overuse of the horn
  • Swerving between cars dangerously
  • Sudden lane changes
  • Lack of signaling during turns or merges
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Refusal to allow the right of way
  • Violating traffic laws
  • Screaming and cursing

If you notice this behavior, it may be an indication to you that the road you are on is no longer safe. While it is every driver’s duty to keep their emotions in check and drive responsibly to ensure that they do not put anyone’s life at risk, not all drivers take this responsibility seriously. This means that, at times, your safety will be in your own hands.

Keeping Yourself Safe

If you have noticed an aggressive driver, the best course of action is to let them pass you. You should only allow them to pass if it is safe and legal to do so. If you do not feel comfortable letting them pass, then you should take the nearest and safest turn or exit. This will get you away from the driver quickly and give you the space you need to stay safe. After you are out of the driver’s vicinity, you should contact the local authority and let them know where the driver is in general and what their vehicle looks like. That helps to ensure that no one else will be hurt when the aggressive driver loses control of their car.

However, you should never try to engage with the aggressive driver. Do not shout at them or respond to their shouting, even if you are trying to calm them down. It is best to avoid the driver altogether and give yourself a wide berth from them. Engaging with them, even if you are doing so with the best intentions, is only likely to make them angrier. The angrier an aggressive driver gets, the more likely they are to lose complete control over their vehicle and cause an accident.

If you are a passenger with an aggressive driver, you are in a slightly more precarious situation. You can’t just take the closest turn and get away from the dangerous situation. Instead, you are stuck in a car with someone who seems very close to negligently causing an accident. The best thing you can do in this situation is to get out of the car as safely as possible. If the driver stops at a rest stop or a gas station, get out and refuse to get back in until they have calmed down, or simply call for a different ride. You can also offer to drive the car yourself if you feel safe doing so and are legally allowed to. You should also avoid angering the aggressive driver further, and instead, if you know them well enough to do so, try to calm them down slightly.

It is unfair that the burden of safety falls onto the backs of potential victims, rather than the aggressive driver themselves. But that is, sadly, often when it comes to with dangerous and negligent drivers. However, if you have been involved in an accident with an aggressive driver, you are likely in need of a skilled legal team. Call the Grant Law Office at (404) 995-3955 for help from an expert Atlanta auto accident attorney. We are prepared to get you the compensation you deserve if you were injured by an aggressive driver.

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Posted in: Auto Accidents

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