The dog days of summer are considered the most dangerous time to be on the road. There are more of us driving, which can make too many of us hot under the collar. Whether is the heat, the traffic or the final push before school starts, a new study finds August is the month that puts you most at risk for encountering an angry, aggressive driver. It’s not just a theory; it was the top month for Instagram posts with #RoadRage.
Judging from the study, August is when we are most likely to encounter the pickup truck cutting across multiple lanes and tailgating drivers who don’t get out of the way, the guy who refuses to let you in at a merge, or the erratic driver weaving into other lanes while their attention is on their cell phone.
These crazed drivers are not only a nuisance, they are causing wrecks. Despite collision avoidance systems, accident rates in the U.S. are on the rise. Traffic experts warn that inattentive and aggressive driving is the cause for all too many crashes.
The best advice if you see one of these drivers with angry faces, often gesturing as they careen through our thoroughfares as if nobody else matters, is to avoid confrontations. Gesturing back or making eye contact can often lead to road rage.
So, what should you do?
- Stay out of the left lane unless you are passing
- Follow the speed limit
- Don’t challenge them by speeding up or trying to block them
- Avoid eye contact
- Report them to authorities providing vehicle description, license plate number, location and direction of travel
And here are some defensive driving tips that can help you avoid aggressive drivers:
- Keep scanning the area ahead and behind you
- Drive with both hands on the wheel to better respond to dangers
- Avoid driving when tired or drowsy
- Wear your seatbelt
- Slow down in bad weather
- Have an escape plan
- Don’t follow too close
Teaching young drivers defensive driving tips is one of the best ways to prevent this type of aggressive behavior. Stay safe on the road!