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How can I prevent becoming a road rage victim?

You know as a motorist in Maryland that the roads can be congested, slow-moving and even dangerous. One of the dangers you have probably encountered is road rage – that driver who tailgates you in the slow lane and then suddenly cuts around you, screams obscenities at you because you can’t get out of his or her way fast enough or is speeding and swerving around other cars.

The American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety states that 56 percent of fatal crashes are due to aggressive driving, but there are things that you can do to avoid getting injured by an out-of-control motorist. First, it is important to keep your distance. It can be tempting to beat another driver at his or her own game, but in reality, it will only make that person angrier and you could end up on the losing end. Often, angry drivers are looking for a fight but if you refuse to look at them or even acknowledge them, they won’t have the opportunity to escalate the issue.

Another way to reduce your chances of getting into a road rage crash is to keep your own driving environment as pleasant and calm as possible. Take a deep breath and do not take the action personally. The other driver is probably just having a really bad day or could be dealing with an emergency situation. Listening to a favorite book recording is a great way to stay calm or you can even distract yourself from other motorists’ behaviors by listening to music that inspires you and lifts your mood.

If you do encounter an overly aggressive driver who is intent on starting a confrontation with you, do not drive home or pull off of the road. Instead, you should find a nearby police station or even call 911 if you feel that you are immediate danger. Sometimes honking your horn and pulling into a place where there are a lot of people around will be enough to deter the aggressive driver and keep you from harm. 

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