A Guide to Avoiding Road Rage and What to do if You Are a Victim
  • Monday, 22 May 2017

A Guide to Avoiding Road Rage and What to do if You Are a Victim

#AskStephanieSlavens

Summer brings with it hot weather, vacation getaways and heated confrontations as travelers take to highways and thoroughfares throughout Ontario. Eighty percent of Canadian drivers admitted to exhibiting some of the telltale signs of road rage, such as aggressive driving, shouting, using profanity and displaying obscene gestures. Knowing what to do if you become the victim of road rage begins by learning more about the signs and causes of it.

Causes of road rage on Ontario roads

Aggressive driving is usually associated with road rage incidents according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Included among the behaviours associated with road rage are the following:

  • Commission of multiple traffic violations endangering the safety of other people or property
  • Use or threatened use of weapons by a driver or passenger of one car or vehicle against the occupants of another vehicle
  • Use of a motor vehicle to assault another person

The causes for the transformation of an otherwise safe and calm motorist into a screaming, obscenity-spewing menace to other people are difficult to categorize because people react differently to situations. Some of the generally recognized causes of road rage include:

  • Stress
  • Traffic congestion
  • Schedules placing unrealistic demands on a person’s time
  • Fatigue
  • Poor driving habits

It is impossible to predict what might trigger a road rage incident because of the difficulty in anticipating how an action or gesture on the part of one motorist will be interpreted by another.

According to studies by the Canadian government, improvements in technology and safety equipment have contributed to fewer deaths and injuries in motor vehicle accidents. However, the studies show that new factors, including road rage and aggressive driver behaviours, are contributing each year to collisions on the nation’s highways.

Avoiding road rage incidents

The best way for Ontario residents to avoid road rage incidents this summer is to be aware of your own behaviour when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Knowing what causes stress and tension when you are driving and taking steps to keep your emotions under control can help to avoid reacting inappropriately to the actions of other motorists. Other things you can do to remain calm while driving is to get enough sleep, leave yourself enough time to get where you have to be and don’t take personally the poor judgement or bad driving habits of other drivers.

Steps to take if you are the victim of road rage

It’s going to happen at some point in your travels, so here are a few tips to reacting to another motorist’s road rage:

  • Never retaliate
  • Do not make eye contact
  • Do not gesture or verbally react
  • Lock your car doors
  • Do not exit your vehicle to confront the individual
  • If being tailgated, change lanes or pull over enough to allow the vehicle to pass
  • Call the police if you feel threatened or in danger

When a collision happens because of a road rage incident

If you are the victim of a collision caused by an aggressive driver or a driver engaging in road rage, you could be entitled to compensation for the property damage and injuries you suffer. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have experience obtaining compensation for individuals throughout Ontario who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. Contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your right to compensation as the victim of road rage. Consultations are free, and we have offices conveniently located throughout Ontario.

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