Alongside distracted and drowsy driving, there is another driving situation you may encounter that could result in an accident. According to Safemotorist.com, aggressive driving, or road rage, accounts for over 60% of traffic fatalities in the United States. Nearly 40% of aggressive driving occurrences include some type of gun. These statistics may alarm people who have not thought about how dangerous road ragers can be.

For people who have an encounter with an aggressive driver, it may be difficult not to respond in an aggressive matter. This tends to make things worse, however, and increases the risk of an accident. Keep reading for tips on how to handle aggressive drivers to deescalate the situation.

Signs of an aggressive driver

To avoid escalating a situation, it is important to identify the signs of someone who may be driving aggressively. The following actions can indicate someone has road rage and may pose the risk of an accident:

  • Yelling, screaming or threatening other drivers
  • Speeding
  • Ignoring stop signs or traffic lights
  • Repeatedly honking the horn or flashing their lights
  • Using their vehicle in a retaliatory or dangerous manner
  • Cutting off other drivers

Males who are younger than 19 are statistically more likely to exhibit signs of aggression while driving.

Avoiding accidents by not engaging

For people who encounter angry and aggressive drivers, it is important not to retaliate or escalate the situation. According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State website, underestimating a driver’s likelihood of aggression can be dangerous. The best thing to do is to get out of the way and allow the other vehicle to pass.

To stay safe, people should not engage with aggressive drivers, including making eye contact. Keeping the doors locked and windows up are also important, especially if the aggressive driver gets out of their car.