If you regularly encounter rude drivers who speed and swerve between lanes to avoid the next red light, you are not alone. Countless other drivers in North Carolina find it annoying, as well as frightening, to deal with aggressive drivers on a daily basis. You may also feel inclined to react to a rude driver in kind, although this wouldn’t be wise. Aggressive driving can quickly escalate into road rage.
While it’s not uncommon to share the road with rude and reckless drivers, it may surprise you to learn that North Carolina is one of the top states to experience this type of driving behavior. According to a study by GasBuddy, North Carolina ranked fifth in the nation for aggressive drivers. The most common action reported was hard braking, followed by speeding.
Aggressive driving and road rage
Authorities consider aggressive driving a traffic offense in most cases, states the American Safety Council. Speeding, cutting others off and tailgating can be dangerous, but usually, people who drive like this are impatient and want to get to their destinations faster – they aren’t looking for a confrontation. On the other hand, road rage occurs when a driver is deliberately trying to harm another. This is a criminal offense, as you may be aware.
How can I keep myself safe from aggressive and angry drivers, you might wonder? The top rule is not to react if another driver makes you angry. Rather than lay on your horn, gesture through the window or speed up to cut off that rude driver in turn, you might tell yourself he’s just having a bad day. If you are targeted in a road rage attempt, use your cellphone to call 911, drive to a police station or other populated area and avoid driving home. If you drive courteously and make smart choices in a potentially dangerous situation, you can help keep yourself and others safe on the roads.