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Road rage: how to see it coming and how to avoid it

Frequently, when we consider ways that one may be injured or one's car damaged on the road, we think of negligent behaviors such as distracted driving, speeding or even reckless behaviors such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Another possible, but less often discussed way to have your car damaged or to suffer injury or possibly even death, is to find yourself facing another driver who is emotionally out of control.

Road rage statistics can be difficult to come by, but the problem is serious enough in Florida that the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles takes the problem of road rage seriously enough that it has identified specific warning signs of behavior likely to lead to road rage. Most of the time, it is easy to spot the road rage warning signs.

According to the state, typical signs of road aggression to watch out for include:

  • A driver cutting you off in traffic
  • Aggressive drivers shouting obscenities at you
  • Threatening behaviors
  • Tailgating
  • Honking the car's horn and flashing headlights at you

More extreme cases can involve the other driver deliberately colliding with you that may even be followed up by that person exiting his or her vehicle and attempting to engage you in a physical confrontation that could include brandishing or using a weapon.

If you find yourself pulled over to the side of the road after an accident with another driver who is exhibiting signs of road rage, you would be well advised not to get out of your car. Instead, remain inside your vehicle and call the police. Even though you may have been in the right, arguing the matter with someone who is or may become violent toward you can only make a bad situation worse.

If you have been the victim of injury or damage to your car or other property due to a road rage incident, your best recourse would be to take legal action against the other driver. A personal injury attorney who is experienced in motor vehicle accident cases can help you to gain any monetary compensation you are entitled to without exposing yourself to further risk of physical danger.

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