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Tips for defusing aggressive drivers

Road rage is all too common in Montana, just like anywhere else, but there are ways that drivers can avoid incurring it. Staying calm is the most important tip. When drivers are cut off, they should avoid honking the horn, flashing the high beams or making inflammatory hand gestures. These actions are better reserved for alerting other drivers to dangers.

Many drivers have their own methods for defusing anger. Music, for example, is proven to relieve stress. On the other hand, drivers will want to avoid tightly gripping their steering wheel for health reasons alone as it constricts blood flow and causes headaches. Drivers should be reasonable and remind themselves that they won't get home much sooner when they are angry.

When there is a bullying driver behind them on a multilane highway, drivers should neither slow down nor speed up because they might block a passing lane and further aggravate the situation. They could try and prevent an aggressive driving from passing them on the right by signaling that they will make a right turn as soon as it is safe.

In traffic jams, keep some space in front to allow for an escape if the driver behind is getting too close. In parking lots, let parking spaces go without getting upset. Lastly, drivers should avoid making eye contact with those in a rage.

When road rage contributes to motor vehicle accidents, victims who are not at fault may be eligible for compensation under personal injury law. Besides medical expenses, vehicle repair costs and other losses, they could sue for punitive damages, which are intended to punish the responsible driver. Filing a claim is often difficult without assistance from a lawyer, though, so it's recommended to get a case evaluation first. An attorney could have third-party investigators build up the case before proceeding to negotiations.

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Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC
619 SW Higgins, Ste. O
P.O. Box 1745
Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: 406-203-5148
Phone: 406-829-1669
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