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Understanding road rage and how to protect yourself

With traffic increasing in many communities across Connecticut and elsewhere, drivers’ patience often wears thin. You might have encountered an angry or aggressive driver already at some point. At McCoy & McCoy, we understand the dangers that aggressive drivers pose for Hartford residents. You may wonder if there is anything you can do to reduce your chances of being harmed by someone engaging in aggressive driving or road rage against you.

NBC News reports that over half of all fatal accidents across the country can be attributed to some kind of aggressive driving. In a recent AAA survey, almost 80 percent of respondents said they had driven aggressively at some point over the past year. Are all types of aggressive driving considered road rage? Not necessarily. Angry or impatient drivers may tailgate, speed, cut you off and use abusive language and gestures, and these actions may be enough to cause you to be in an accident.

However, what sets aggressive driving apart from road rage is that the latter involves a deliberate attempt to cause physical harm to another person. This may involve a driver using his or her car to ram yours or force you off the road. He or she may attempt to strike you down when you are outside your vehicle, or to use a weapon or object to hurt you.

If you are being pursued by an angry driver, it is important not to drive home, where the other person can follow you and then know where you live. You should instead drive to a police station, hospital, fire station or well-lit parking lot where there are other people nearby. If possible, attempt to get out of the other driver’s way, but do not endanger others in doing so. If you react calmly and do not purposefully escalate the situation, you may improve your chances of getting away from a road rage incident unscathed.

Accidents caused by deliberate, aggressive driving can be terrifying, as well as dangerous. You may learn more about protecting your interests after an accident caused by an aggressive or negligent driver by visiting our page on car accidents.

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