If you have been caught in traffic, you know first hand the stress that comes along with it. It is the dangerous driving behaviors that often accompany this frustration that puts lives in danger.

When polled, at least 80% of Americans agreed that they have felt road rage at least once within the last year, according to AAA. More surprising, more than eight million drivers were involved in extreme road rage, such as starting a physical altercation with another driver or hitting another vehicle.

Identifying the signs

It is critical to be able to spot the signs of an aggressive driver, so that you can minimize your chance of becoming involved in a collision. According to the Insurance Information Institute, signs of an aggressive driver include the following:

  • Following to close to another driver or tailgating
  • Honking the horn excessively
  • Failing to adhere to traffic signals, traffic signs or other drivers’ right of way
  • Speeding or racing other vehicles
  • Yelling expletives or displaying obscene hand gestures
  • Blocking or cutting off other drivers

When drivers have road rage, they may exit their vehicle and approach another driver with intent to harm. They may also crash or bump into another vehicle.

Knowing what to do

When you first come across an aggressive driver, your first reaction may be to engage with them. It is critical to avoid exchanging words, hand gestures or making eye contact with the angry driver. You never know if the other driver is hostile or has a weapon.

Instead, notify law enforcement to the issue and let them handle the problem. Becoming involved may lead to further complications. Calling law enforcement may minimize the risk of a serious accident, injuries or even death.