Road Rage

Frustration about road conditions, traffic problems and getting a ticket typically remains below the surface as people try to remain composed in their vehicles. Road rage is frustration manifested in actions including tailing slower drivers, obscene gestures and other actions that may lead to an accident.

Road rage has become an important issue for insurers because increasing tension on the road means a higher risk for severe accidents on every highway in the United States.

There are a number of factors that can lead to road rage that are begin studied by insurance companies to assess risk based on regional traffic patterns including:

  • Reaction time by the first driver at a stop light when a red light turns green
  • Drivers who do not make a right turn at a right turn lane or head straight in a right turn only lane
  • Passing a driver on the left hand side and slowing down once they get into the right lane
  • Lane changes without a signal
  • Use of high beams with oncoming traffic driving past
  • Clogging up passing lanes by driving at the same speed as drivers in the slow lane
  • Speeding through a yellow light
  • Frequent lane changes by the same vehicle
  • Excessive use of a car horn in traffic
  • Obscene gestures and excessive gesticulation
  • Alternation between high beams and regular lights to express frustration with other drivers
  • Tailgating and maintaining speed to prevent someone from getting into a lane

You can follow a few practical guidelines to avoid engaging in or avoiding others who might be engaging in aggressive driving habits:

  • Make good lane changes by using your turn signals
  • Error on the side of allowing other drivers to pass in order to be polite
  • Observe the speed limit and stay within five miles per hour above and below to go with the flow of traffic
  • Maintain a safe distance from all motorists and approach larger vehicles with caution
  • Stay in the slow lane for the majority of your trip
  • Encounter frustrating situations with a safe distraction like a conversation with one of your passengers or listening to a CD of your favorite music
  • Turn down your bass and your volume in close traffic to avoid annoying other drivers
  • Keep your hand off your car horn unless absolutely necessary
  • Utilize hands-free phone and GPS tools to avoid distractions and police attention in states where cell phone operation is illegal
  • Slow down and take alternate routes when you encounter bad drivers
  • Avoid reacting to drivers who want a confrontation by avoiding eye contact and immediate responses