The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes an alarming increase in dangerous driver behavior that began in the 1990s, often leading to accidents. At its worst, aggressive driving explodes into road range – yelling, gestures, assault and even murder. With so much at stake, why do motorists risk the health and lives of others and themselves?
- Traffic delays. Whether caused by road construction or an accident, delays prompt impatient drivers to follow too closely, abruptly change lanes or to become unreasonably angry at other motorists.
- Running late. Errands, from driving children to school to getting to work on time, put many motorists on edge.
- Anonymity. Inside a vehicle, some motorists feel insulated from the world around them.
- Disregard for others and the law. Studies find many drivers are influenced by a media that glorifies high-speed car chases, learn bad habits from their parents and peers, and possess the belief that “I’m just looking out for No. 1” is acceptable.
Watching out for yourself when encountering aggressive drivers
Protecting yourself against aggressive and irrational behavior is not easy, but there are a few tips that you can employ, according to Life Lanes:
- Keep your doors locked. The last thing you want is a physical altercation with another driver.
- Leave enough room between your vehicle and others so that you can pull out from behind the car in front of you.
- Dial 911 or drive to the nearest police station if confronted by an aggressive driver. In Montana, you can call 1-855-647-3777 to report an unsafe motorist.
- Reduce your own stress by leaving extra time for any trip and listening to soothing music. Make yourself comfortable by adjusting your seat position and climate controls.
- Most importantly, realize you have little control over traffic. You can, however, minimize your chances of becoming involved with an aggressive driver. Obey traffic laws, follow common sense and be courteous (don’t tailgate, make obscene gestures, block passing lanes, etc.) to avoid confrontations.
Be aggressive in defending your rights
If you have been injured in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, your troubles are just beginning. The other driver is unlikely to admit their fault. In fact, he or she may blame you. You may be dealing with serious injuries, unable to work and provide for your family. An insurance company, knowing this, will pressure you into accepting a financial settlement that falls far short of what you need. Understanding the legal system is another challenge. One innocent mistake on your part can undermine your entire case.
Billings car accident lawyer Matthew Braukmann, of Braukmann Law, PLLC, can make sense of your complicated situation. He has extensive experience with car accidents throughout Montana and knows how to deal with drivers who deny causing accidents, the tactics of insurance companies and the inner workings of the court system. He will defend your rights while pursuing fair financial compensation for you and your family. Contact us today for a free case consultation.