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Road rage, aggressive driving and car accidents

New York drivers are often familiar with angry and aggressive drivers. While cars and trucks attempt to get through traffic, drivers’ frustrations may flare as the sounds of honking horns and yelling fill the air.

At least 80% of adult motorists in America confess that they have felt road rage while driving at least once within the past year, according to AAA. Anger behind the wheel can lead to aggressive driving behaviors and road rage, which puts people at risk of getting into a serious car accident.

What are the signs of road rage?

It may come as a surprise to some that some signs of aggressive driving involve speeding and tailgating, which are behaviors that many people engage in. According to the Insurance Information Institute, other signs of aggressive driving include the following:

  • Blocking other vehicles from changing lanes
  • Cutting off other vehicles and erratic lane changing
  • Honking the horn excessively, yelling and using obscene hand gestures
  • Failing to yield to traffic lights, pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers’ right of way
  • Making improper turns

Anger may go a step further, transitioning into road rage, which increases the risk further. Motorists with road rage may hit other vehicles or exit their vehicles and approach other drivers. Some may attempt to start a physical altercation with others as well.

How to handle the situation

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 56% of deadly car accidents involve some form of aggressive driving. If drivers spot a driver with road rage, they should alert law enforcement immediately. Rather than engage with the angry motorist, they should avoid all contact if possible. Getting involved may only escalate the situation.

Law enforcement officers are better able to handle the matter, minimizing the risk of car accidents, injuries or death.

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