Road rage is entirely preventable. Yet it remains a serious threat to motorists on roads in South Carolina and throughout the United States. A recent study found that 1 in 4 drivers has been involved in a road rage incident, either as the victim or the perpetrator.
Follow these tips from Stewart Law Offices about how to minimize road rage and all of its dangers.
Causes of Road Rage
A variety of circumstances are reported to cause road rage. Traffic congestion and delays are known to make drivers especially irritable. Thinking logically, drivers should realize that these road conditions are completely out of any motorist’s control. But if they’re running late or stressed out, they may take it out on others by acting aggressively behind the wheel.
Once stress levels are high, even small driving infractions that a driver would normally shake off could turn into a road rage incident.
Examples of Road Rage
Road rage can take many forms, such as:
- Intentional tailgating
- Yelling at other motorists
- Honking angrily
- Blocking another vehicle from changing lanes
- Cutting off other cars deliberately
- Getting out of a car to confront the other driver
- Bumping or hitting another car on purpose
- Throwing objects
- Forcing another driver off the road
Disturbingly, a 10-year analysis of crash data from The Auto Insurance Center found that South Carolina had the second-highest rate of fatal accidents that could be attributed to road rage in the nation.
How to Avoid a Road Rage Accident in South Carolina
The only thing you can control on the road is your own behavior. Here’s what you can do to lessen the chances of causing a road rage accident:
- Obey the rules of the road.
- Don’t react to others’ aggressive driving by engaging in the same behaviors.
- Own your mistakes. If you cut someone off, apologize for it verbally or with a friendly wave.
- Control your temper. Even if the other driver tries to confront you verbally, don’t escalate the situation by fighting back.
- Call 911 if you are afraid of being harmed.
How to Handle Others Drivers’ Road Rage
The best way to deal with another motorist’s aggressiveness is by driving defensively. This means:
Keep your distance. If possible, let the driver pass you. With luck, he or she will zoom on by. But if the aggressive driver tries any other maneuvers from in front, like braking suddenly for no reason, keeping your distance will give you more time to respond and avoid a collision.
Don’t meet with the driver. Never pull off the road to talk to the other driver. You have no idea of his or her intentions.
Get Legal Help If You’ve Been Injured
Has someone else’s road rage caused you harm? If you have been seriously injured in a road rage crash in South Carolina, the experienced car accident attorneys at Stewart Law Offices can help you fight for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Originally published January 2017, updated November 2020.