Some New Jersey drivers may wonder what causes road rage. Aggressive driving is a factor in over half of all fatal crashes, and aggressive behaviors include tailgating, traveling more than 15 mph above the speed limit and passing another driver illegally. This aggressive behavior can trigger road rage in which a driver actively attempts to harm another.
However, drivers can take precautions to help avoid becoming the victim of road rage. There are several actions that the AAA Foundation has identified as particularly triggering for other drivers. Tailgating, obscene gestures, cutting off drivers and driving too slowly in the left lane without allowing drivers to pass were named in surveys as behaviors that drivers found most enraging, so avoiding these behaviors may reduce an individual’s chances of becoming the victim of road rage.
If individuals do attract the angry attention of another driver, there still may be ways to diffuse the situation. Getting physical distance from the other driver and avoiding eye contact may help. Individuals who feel that a driver may attack them should call 911 for help or drive to a populated area, such as a convenience store. They should avoid stopping the car and getting out or going home. Finally, individuals should make an effort to avoid getting angry themselves while driving and should seek help for anger management if necessary.
An individual who has been in a car accident as a result of aggressive driver or road rage may wish to consult an attorney. Even if the driver does not commit a criminal act, aggressive actions like changing lanes erratically might be considered negligent behavior, and in a civil suit, the driver might be found responsible for the medical bills and other expenses of the injured individual.