Schmitt Mulhern, LLC

How to recognize and avoid aggressive drivers

Aggressive drivers can make the road an unpleasant and highly dangerous place for everyone else. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive drivers cause over half of the nation's traffic fatalities. Knowing how to handle potentially volatile situations with motorists who may be upset or angry can decrease the chance of a serious accident.

Persistent tailgating or cutting off are some common and very concerning signs of aggressive driving. A driver who engages in these behaviors is not simply upset; he or she has crossed the line into dangerous behavior. Whether the angry driver has targeted you or another motorist, you need to use caution.

Do not respond to dangerous behavior

Do not attempt to retaliate in kind; doing so is likely to result in an accident. Likewise, do not gesture or yell at the driver, as that is more likely to increase the person's anger. Avoid making eye contact and try to leave the vicinity as soon as possible. If the driver follows you, do not head to your workplace or home. Instead, drive to a police station or another public place with many people around.

Follow the rules

Another precaution is to avoid behaviors that tend to set off rage-prone drivers. Take care not to tailgate or cut off other vehicles. Watch your high-beam headlights.

Minor signs of annoyance can escalate quickly

Likewise, do not respond to even minor signs of aggression. If you see a driver gesturing or yelling in your direction, avoid eye contact and do your best to keep your distance. Other aggressive behaviors may include excessive speed, failing to yield and running through lights or stop signs.

When precautions fail to keep you safe

Unfortunately, although precautions can help, they cannot guarantee your safety. An aggressive driver is highly likely to cause an accident, as rational thinking and safe driving go out the window in the face of irrational anger. If you are the victim of an accident, you may be entitled to file suit to recover your resulting damages. Contacting a qualified attorney as soon as possible can help you begin building your case. Your attorney can gather relevant evidence and prepare an effective strategy to help you recover your losses.

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, Avvo.com and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.

Matt Mulhern

Attorney Matt Mulhern

Mr. Mulhern has over 25 years of legal experience and a 100 percent success rate arguing before the Missouri Court of Appeals. He has a unique knowledge of the inner workings of insurance companies and how they will dispute your injury claim. He practices in both Missouri and Kansas.