Signs of Road Rage in Other Drivers

fist clenched against steering wheel to signify road rage

We’ve all experienced frustration while out on the road. Maybe someone is driving below the speed limit in the left lane, or you are cut off when trying to merge. But road rage takes this frustration to a new level. It describes overblown, aggressive, and potentially hazardous behaviors in response to the actions of another driver or drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, aggressive driving was a factor in 66 percent of traffic fatalities. Read our article to learn signs of road rage in another driver so you can stay safe and avoid being in an accident. 

Road Rage Driving Behaviors to Watch Out For

1. Tailgating and Light Flashing May Be Signs of Road Rage

Tailgating is illegal in Colorado, where you must keep at least 3 seconds of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Nevertheless, plenty of drivers engage in this aggressive driving behavior, which can have serious consequences in the event you need to break or make another quick decision. 

Tailgating may also be accompanied by repetitive and inappropriate flashing of headlights. This is meant to intimidate you to move over, possibly before you feel safe to do so. 

If someone is following you too closely, you may be tempted to react by slowing down quickly or even braking to force them to slow down. However, the best course of action in this case is to safely move to another lane and allow the tailgater to pass. You don’t want to risk angering the driver further, which might cause them to engage in other risky and aggressive behaviors. 

If you want, you can call local police to report the aggressive driver. Make a note of the license plate and let the authorities know the approximate location the incident took place. (Colorado State Patrol number is 211)

2. Aggressive Lane Changes in Road Rage Incidents

Changing lanes should be done safely and with the correct signaling. If you see someone rapidly swerving in between lanes, failing to signal, or failing to allow adequate space in order to pass safely, the driver may be experiencing road rage. Again, slow down and let the driver pass. 

3. Speeding Excessively as a Sign of Road Rage

Speeding on its own is a leading cause of auto accidents, but excessive speeding associated with road rage can be particularly dangerous. Combined with other behaviors, like unsafe lane changes, speeding to the point where it is demonstrative can lead to devastating consequences. 

Report drivers engaged in reckless speeding by calling local police. You do not need to have the plate number memorized; just give your best description of the vehicle and where you are located. 

4. Gestures and Verbal Assault Caused By Road Rage

In certain situations, you may be the victim of profanity via rude gestures or verbal assault. It is very important not to engage with this behavior. Retaliating could lead to a physical altercation between you and the driver, leading to serious injuries or even death. 

Disturbingly, gun violence associated with road rage is on the rise: it has more than doubled since 2018. What’s more, a study in Arizona found that individuals with guns in their vehicle are actually more likely to engage in aggressive driving. 

The alarming trend in gun-related road rage incidents makes it even more critical not to engage with belligerent drivers. Call local police or 911 and let the professionals de-escalate the situation. 

What To Do If You Are a Victim of Road Rage

If you ever feel your safety is being threatened by another driver, do not stop or get out of your vehicle. In most cases, you will simply want to allow the aggressive driver to pass you. But if they continue to follow you, honk, shout, or otherwise harass you on the road, remain calm, continue driving, and call 911 or local police to help you. 

If you are involved in an accident as a result of aggressive driving, you will want to speak to an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Even if the driver fled the scene, you can still attempt to build a case and file a phantom vehicle or hit and run claim.  

In Colorado, Dave Roth is a top car accident and personal injury attorney. He will work with you to hold whomever is responsible for your accident accountable. Call or go online today to schedule your free consultation. 

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Heather Kleinman