How to deal with aggressive drivers in Florida

Aggressive driving is just one of the hazards that can make your Florida commute unnecessarily dangerous. According to the AAA Safety Foundation, aggressive driving causes over half of the nation’s traffic fatalities.

Recognizing and avoiding aggressive drivers can help you stay safe. Of course, any driver can turn into an aggressive driver, so monitoring your own emotional state is important in preventing an incident from escalating.

Do not minimize risky behavior

Road rage is one extreme from of aggressive driving many people recognize quickly. However, even common behaviors that fall far short of murderous rage can fall into the category of aggressiveness and present a serious danger for nearby motorists. For example, a motorist may slow down just to annoy you, causing a backup.

Avoid reckless drivers

Speeding, tailgating and cutting off other vehicles endanger other people and may signal a willingness to escalate the aggression. If you observe a driver engaging in any of these behaviors, do your best to keep your distance. In the event that you find yourself the target, try to part ways with this driver as soon as you can.

Do not engage

Many drivers make the mistake of trying to correct other motorists’ behavior by expressing their displeasure. Gesturing, honking, retaliatory passing and cutting off are all surefire ways to make a bad situation worse. Rather than recall the other driver to his or her senses, anything you do is likelier to encourage increasingly risky behavior.

Get help

When you notice a driver is following you, suspect the worst. You have likely heard of more than one incident on the news where an episode of road rage ended with assault and gun violence. For this reason, your best option is to go to a police station or fire station, not to your home or workplace.

Keep calm

Remain vigilant in ensuring you do not engage in aggressive driving yourself. Distraction or anger can cause you to thoughtlessly cut someone off or follow too closely. If another driver annoys you, have an effective calming technique ready to help you resist the urge to react aggressively.