Road rage and angry drivers are becoming an increasingly common occurrence on the roads of American cities, particularly larger cities like Chicago. Angry drivers can be a hazard for many different reasons.
News stories have chronicled instances of drivers who deliberately rear-end someone they believe to have wronged them. Angry drivers can cause serious damage and even death to other drivers by their aggressive actions and, as discussed below, should be avoided at all costs if possible by taking defensive measures when driving on the streets of Chicago.
Steps To Take To Avoid Angry Drivers
Defensive driving is the best way to avoid angry drivers, particularly in a big metropolitan area like Chicago. It drastically reduces your chances of getting into an accident and can alleviate the problems posed by angry drivers and their often erratic behavior. Specific defensive tactics could include the following:
- Tapping on your brakes several times if a driver is tailgating you to let the driver know that he or she is following too closely
- Gradually slowing down until the driver becomes frustrated enough to switch lanes and pass you.
- If you see that an angry driver appears to be targeting you and trying to make eye contact, it is best to simply get out of the way
- Avoid making any obscene or inappropriate gestures or making eye contact with the angry driver.
- If the other driver continues to act aggressively towards you, then attempt to pull over in a highly populated area with many people around and remain in your vehicle
- If you are unable to pull over and can do so safely, call the police from your cell phone.
Remember to always slow down carefully in intersections and check your mirrors before stopping at a yellow light, as the driver behind you may be gunning it in an attempt to make it through the intersection. If someone nearby you is aggressively changing lanes, maintain a safe speed and stay in your lane rather than trying to weave in and out of traffic to avoid them yourself.
Avoid Angry Driving Yourself
If someone cuts you off in traffic, do not get angry and try to do the same to them. That increases your own chances of causing an accident that could have negative physical and financial consequences for you. In the heat of the moment, it can be hard not to let your emotions get the best if you feel that you have been wronged by another driver.
However, consider that your own safety-both physically and financially-could be at risk because you could be at fault for any injuries caused to another person, a passenger or their vehicle if you cause an accident due to angry driving. In addition, letting your emotions get the best of you can result in your breaking the law by speeding or running a red light or stop light. This could lead to a criminal or monetary judgment against you or a spike in your auto insurance rates-all because you could not keep your cool when simply going somewhere in your vehicle.
If You Find Yourself Becoming Angry While Driving, Take a Deep Breath
You cannot control the other drivers on the road. Remember that you are only in control of your own vehicle and do your best to follow all posted speed limits and other traffic laws, no matter what the drivers around you are doing. This is the best way to ensure that you do not end up the victim of an angry driver or, worse yet, become the angry driver yourself who causes an accident that ruins your life or the lives of other people around you.
Contact an Illinois Lawyer
If you were hurt in an auto accident involving an angry driver, contact an Illinois attorney right away. Many personal injury or wrongful death cases go to court involving accidents caused by angry drivers, and you’ll want an experienced attorney by your side when negotiating with the other driver and his or her insurance company. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to learn how our personal injury attorneys can help you or your loved one after an auto accident.