Imagine this scenario. You are driving along minding your own business when someone cuts in front of you without signaling. You are paying attention and slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. The other driver speeds off. That could have been the end of it, but you have been having a bad day. You slam on the gas, weave through traffic, and catch up to the other driver. You follow him with your lights flashing and horn blowing. You follow him through several turns. You just can’t let it go. You don’t know what you are going to do to him if you catch him, but you want him to know how angry you are. Imagine your surprise when they quickly turn into a hospital and race to the emergency room door. You stop—dumbfounded. You have just done your best to scare someone half to death that was only trying to get to the hospital.
That my friend is road rage, and it can overcome the best of us. Driving can be frustrating, and being surrounded by steel and glass in our own personal tank can make us feel invincible. There’s no way to tell what the other driver is thinking on the road. All you can see are his actions, and if he does something to annoy or endanger you, it’s easy to fly off the handle. After all, you are anonymous in your SUV.
You have just done your best to scare someone half to death that was only trying to get to the hospital.
Aggressive and angry driving causes car accidents. Kansas police estimate that aggressive driving or road rage related accidents have increased by over 30-percent in the last year. The roads are more crowded. People seem to have less patience than they used to. There are more bells and whistles on our cars that could distract us from driving. All of these factors can lead to a car accident involving road rage. You cannot avoid road rage altogether. You cannot control how another driver thinks and acts, but by being patient and understanding, you can avoid escalating what is a minor incident and annoyance into something tragic and life changing.
Be patient and understanding when you drive—and give everyone plenty of room. There could be a valid reason for that person cutting you off or continuing to drive 10 miles per hour under the speed limit in the passing lane. You just don’t know. Even if you are sure they are complete idiots, ignore it, pass them, and leave them behind. Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. It’s not your job to correct their behavior, and using your car to teach someone a lesson is a bad idea all around.
When faced with someone else’s road rage. Try to get out of the situation as soon as possible. Pull off the interstate in a safe area like a gas station. Slow down and let them pass. Wave to them to say you are sorry. Diffuse the situation and be the bigger person. Don’t get into a shouting match at 70 MPH, and don’t let another’s actions turn you into a bad driver.
Road rage is one of the many causes of car accidents in Kansas. If you feel that you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligent and aggressive driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To find out if you may have a case, fill out our free car accident injury evaluation form to speak with one of our attorneys.