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How Does Road Rage Affect Your Driving Skills and Judgment?

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Angry male driver behind the steering wheel
Road rage is a serious problem across the United States. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that aggressive driving is a contributing factor in 54 percent of all fatal accidents. Since most people rely on their vehicles for transportation, they must spend a significant amount of time on the roads to get to where they need to go. It only takes one person behaving badly in traffic to lead to road rage. How does road rage affect your driving skills and judgment?

How Does Road Rage Affect Your Driving Skills and Judgment?

How does road rage affect your driving skills and judgment? To answer this question, you first need to understand what road rage is. Road rage is a combination of stress, anger, and frustration you might experience while you drive. This combination can result in violent behavior that can lead you to drive aggressively, curse, and make offensive gestures at another driver.

How Road Rage Can Affect Your Driving Skills and Judgment

Road rage can affect both your driving skills and judgment and potentially cause you to be involved in a violent altercation or accident. When people are angry, they tend to tune everything else out while they focus on the person who has made them angry. When you are driving, having this type of tunnel vision can be dangerous. While you are focusing your attention on the motorist who angered you, you might not notice another vehicle or obstacle in your way. Experiencing anger while you are traveling can also make you react by speeding and ignoring some of the basics of safe driving.

Road rage also affects your judgment while you drive. The rush of adrenaline and stress you feel might cause you to make poor decisions in the heat of the moment, including speeding, following too closely, or engaging in other erratic actions. These types of things can endanger both your life and those of the people around you on the road.

How to Avoid Aggressive Driving and Drivers

When you drive, you should remember that you should keep in control of your emotions. If someone else on the road behaves in a way that you dislike, remember that you do not have to react in the same way. Don’t tailgate other motorists, block lanes, or react if someone else is driving aggressively.

If you encounter an aggressive driver who targets you, make sure that your doors are locked and your windows remain closed. Try to keep plenty of room between your vehicle and the car in front of you. This can help you to maneuver around the car in front of you to reach safety. If you can, turn off the road and drive to a police station.

If you cannot escape, dial 911 to report what’s happening. You should never engage with someone who is behaving aggressively to try to avoid escalating the situation. If you can, pull over and record what is happening with your camera or smartphone. However, do not attempt to record anything while you’re currently driving. In addition, document the license plate number and other details that might be helpful.

Drive Defensively

Practicing good defensive driving tactics might help you reduce your chances of being involved in a road rage incident. Make sure you do the following things every time you drive:

  • Keep plenty of distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Always use your turn signal when turning, preparing to pass, or re-entering the lane of traffic.
  • Drive at the speed limit.
  • Do not stay in the passing lane or block it.
  • Always keep your attention on the road so that you can anticipate problems before they occur.
  • Do not drive while distracted.
  • Never drive while you are impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Speak to the Attorneys at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave

Road rage is dangerous and results in numerous accidents and injuries each year. If you have been injured in a collision caused by an aggressive driver, you should speak to the attorneys at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave. We can review what happened and help you understand your legal options. Call us today for a free consultation at 417-322-2222 (Springfield) or 417-624-4258 (Joplin).

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