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Dealing with aggressive drivers

No matter how cautious you are when behind the wheel, other people's dangerous habits put you at risk. Aggressive driving numbers among the major causes of crashes and related injuries, including fatalities.

While you have no way of controlling what other people do, knowing some ways to handle this behavior when you encounter it can lower your risks.

Identify aggressive behaviors

Staying alert and recognizing the warning signs of an aggressive driver are the first steps toward staying safe. Watch out for drivers who break traffic rules, swerve in and out of traffic, cut off other vehicles and pass illegally. They may also refuse to yield or to let other vehicles merge. Do your best to keep your distance from a driver exhibiting these and other risky behaviors. 

Don't react in anger

You may discover that an aggressive driver is targeting your vehicle. Signs include tailgating, passing repeatedly, following, and threatening gestures, honking or yelling. Your best option is to get away from such a driver. Do not retaliate or react. While you may want to yell back or honk, doing so can escalate the situation and increase the risk. 

Get away

If you notice the driver following you, he or she may have truly dangerous intentions. Avoid going home or to your workplace. Instead, head for a public area, preferably one with a strong security presence. Going to the closest police station may be a good idea.

Report the behavior

If you notice aggressive driving, it can also be wise to report it to local law enforcement. If possible, pull over to make this call or ask a passenger to do so.

In the event that a crash does occur, it is important to know you may be able to obtain legal compensation. Potential damages may include redress for medical bills, lost earnings and pain and suffering, as well as other losses you may sustain. 

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