Road rage risks and how to avoid them

During high traffic times on the streets and highways of San Antonio, it may be easy for drivers to get exasperated and angry at delays and the conduct of other drivers. Acting out through driving behaviors may seem like a natural response. In fact, according to statistics reported by The New York Times, 80 percent of motorists admit that they were guilty of aggressive driving such as tailgating, honking their horns and yelling at other drivers.

While these angry gestures may simply express a person's frustration, they could also be dangerous. Cutting off other vehicles in traffic or following too closely raises the risk of a crash. Not only that, one study revealed that with 126 incidents of driver confrontations involving guns between 2014 and 2016, Texas was number two in the nation.

To lower the risk of a road rage encounter, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends that drivers take these precautions:

  •          Avoid making rude gestures
  •          Use turn signals
  •          Drive in the left lane only when passing
  •          Allow a minimum of two seconds following distance between vehicles

When a motorist is angry, it may be difficult or impossible to defuse the situation due to the difficulties of communication between vehicles. The best thing someone may be able to do is minimize the chances of further confrontation.

A driver should avoid making eye contact with an aggressive motorist so there is less chance of a misinterpreted facial expression. Pulling off the road may increase the chances of a face-to-face encounter, but driving to a police or fire station or a crowded public place lessens the chance of violence. Those who find themselves pursued by an angry driver should call 911.

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