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It’s a frightening situation when another driver starts tailgating you or blaring their horn from behind. You feel trapped, helpless and sometimes forced to take control by retaliating. However, think about whether or not that is the wise thing to do. Road rage can quickly escalate, leading to a dangerous confrontation or serious accident.

blog-angryAggressive driving comes in many forms. A few of the behaviors that endanger others on the road include going over the speed limit, tailgating, not obeying traffic signals and making improper turns or maneuvers. In addition to these factors, an individual may start honking loudly or making obscene gestures at other motorists. While you might think it’s best to defend yourself, realize that the situation could get out of control very fast. Instead, consider these options for dealing with an aggressive driver:

1. Don’t return a gesture or use one yourself: When another driver cuts you off, honking your horn, flashing your high beams or using certain hand gestures might make the other motorist even angrier. Although he or she didn’t follow the rules of the road, it’s best to ignore any gestures and stay focused on the road ahead.

2. Move Over: What should you do if the aggression doesn’t stop? While some might speed up or slow down to get out of the way, the best tactic is to move over to another lane and let the aggressive driver go by.

3. Never Make Eye Contact: You might think you’re safe and protected inside your vehicle, but human nature often knows no bounds. Making eye contact with an aggressive driver can escalate the conflict, creating a situation in which you’re both challenging each other for dominance.

4. Don’t Take It Personally: While you might want to retaliate, realize that the other driver’s behavior could have been a mistake. Instead, try to be tolerant and forgiving.

5. Don’t Get Out of Your Vehicle: To keep yourself safe from an aggressive or inattentive driver, always stay in your vehicle.

6. Call 911: In the unlikely scenario that the aggressive driver’s behavior doesn’t let up, pull over and call 911.

It is important to understand that, while you can’t control another driver’s behavior, you can remove yourself from the situation to stay safe. Otherwise, the risk of getting into an accident increases and you might find yourself dealing with an insurance company that doesn’t want to pay your claim. If you’re in this type of situation, Trantolo & Trantolo is here to help. For more information, contact us to speak with one of our lawyers.