Despite the stresses of the day, most of us know that our focus needs to be on driving when we are behind the wheel. Unfortunately, not every driver keeps their cool and maintains that focus. When drivers become angry, that aggression can put you and other drivers at danger.
What signs might indicate that another driver is acting based on road rage?
One of the most common signs of aggression behind the wheel is speeding. In fact, the AAA Foundation’s Annual Traffic Safety Culture Index indicates that nearly half of drivers had driven 15 miles per hour over the speed limit on freeways in the month before the survey.
2. Sudden changes in speed
Just as speeding can indicate road rage, sudden changes in speed can also indicate aggression in another driver. This can include flooring it in an attempt to pass another vehicle, speeding up to prevent another car from passing them or slowing down suddenly after pulling in front of another vehicle.
3. Rude gestures
Even if you cannot hear a driver’s words, certain hand gestures clearly communicate anger. If you see these gestures, even if they are not aimed at you, you should keep an eye on the driver making them to keep yourself safe. In addition to rude gestures, they may also yell, punch their steering wheel or honk their horn excessively.
4. Failing to signal
Signaling lane changes and turns is important for keeping others safe on the road. If a driver makes these changes without a signal, they may be acting out of aggression.
5. Failing to obey traffic signs, no-passing zones and other instructions
When people are angry, they may be impatient and ignore the rules of the road. As a result, they may run a red light, pass on the shoulder or otherwise ignore other regulations. The Insurance Information Institute notes that some drivers may even defy the instructions given by traffic officers.
While identifying aggressive drivers can help you drive defensively, you may not be able to prevent an accident. If a driver acting on road rage causes an accident, people injured by their aggressive driving may have options for legal recourse.