Navigating through Illinois traffic can be maddening at times. It is frustrating to get stuck behind a slow driver when rushing to work, coming home from a long day or trying to get to an important appointment. These feelings of anger often lead to aggressive driving behaviors, which may lead to devastating accidents, injuries and deaths.
According to AAA, approximately 56% of deadly car accidents involve aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding and cutting off other drivers. Another study shows that at least 80% of adult American drivers admit to having felt road rage at least once within the last year. It is important to know how to spot the signs of road rage and what to do if you should come across an aggressive driver.
Aggressive drivers put other peoples’ lives at risk by engaging in dangerous behaviors, including the following:
- Excessive lane changing
- Cutting off drivers or blocking them from passing
- Speeding or racing other vehicles
- Excessive horn honking, yelling obscenities or using profane hand gestures
- Failing to obey traffic signals or signs
- Tailgating or driving too closely to the car in front of them
Drivers with road rage often get so caught up in getting through traffic that they may be slow to respond to pedestrians, objects in the road, bicyclists, bad weather conditions or animals.
In some cases, drivers may become so irate that they intentionally hit another vehicle. Angry motorists may leave their vehicles to confront another driver and attempt to use physical force.
Aggressive drivers can be extremely dangerous. It is best to avoid engaging with them and do not return comments or make eye contact. Instead, alert law enforcement to the location of the issue and allow them to handle the problem.