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Summer road rage can carry into cooler months

Summertime comes with heat, humidity and hot feelings, especially while in traffic. Road rage is commonplace when temperatures rise, but it can carry into autumn and beyond. Acting in this manner can lead to aggressive driving, motor vehicle accidents, injuries, fatalities and personal injury claims.

While cities and states with higher levels of traffic and congested drivers ranked the highest in Gas Buddy’s study of which U.S. states had the most aggressive drivers, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen in New Hampshire. The study cited California as the state with the most aggressive and road-rage-ridden drivers who took part in an “aggressive driving incident” every 6.6 miles. The study also revealed hard breaking to be the No. 1 most aggressive driving event.

What steps can you take to avoid - or at least decrease - road rage-fueled driving incidents? It starts with understanding when you feel yourself becoming angry or the other driver becoming angry at you.

If you feel yourself becoming angry

  • Give others the benefit of the doubt: They likely didn’t cut you off on purpose and are trying to reach the destination safely
  • Don’t tailgate: If you have a slow driver in front of you, they may be lost, confused or older. Rather than riding their bumper, safely pass and allow yourself and the slow driver to continue driving without incident.
  • Quit seeing the horn as your friend: Horns aren’t meant as a first use of communication. If you are suspect to a true hazard that needs attention, use your horn. If you’re simply frustrated, a horn accomplishes nothing but frustrating the other driver.
  • Stay in your vehicle: Confronting other drivers only leads to an escalated and potentially violent incident, which you should avoid whenever possible.

If another driver is angry at you

  • Change lanes safely, slow down or exit the street or highway to avoid further confrontation
  • Do not entice the aggressive driver by exhibiting retaliated anger
  • Do not make eye contact
  • Do not confront the other driver
  • If you truly feel unsafe, call the police to make them aware of the situation and the driver in question.

Road rage incidents happen year-round. Motor vehicle and personal injury can occur with or without a road rage incident. Personal injury attorneys are ready to help if you fall victim to one of these events.

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