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Could Atlanta’s Angry Drivers Increase the Risk of Auto Accidents?

Last month, we reported that Georgia’s drivers ranked poorly in a survey of motorists based on their knowledge of safe driving practices. As it turns out, motorists in the state’s capital may not only be lacking in their knowledge of safe driving, but may also be aggressive to boot.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a new survey has placed Atlanta among the five worst cities in the country as far as road rage and aggressive driving are concerned. Drivers in New York are reportedly the worst, with Dallas Fort Worth, Detroit and Minneapolis-St. Paul following. What that means is that motorists in these cities and Atlanta are more likely to tailgate or make rude gestures, weave in and out of traffic lanes and indulge in other forms of aggressive behavior.

Road rage incidents are more common in metropolitan cities that have busy roads. Congested roads mean traffic delays, and consequently, frayed tempers.

Yelling and making rude gestures may not seem dangerous, but when the angry motorist tries to run a vehicle off the road, or cut him off, things can quickly begin to get very serious. Accidents can easily occur when motorists are involved in displays of temper on the street.

Bicyclists and pedestrians are more likely to be victims of road rage. There is lesser awareness about the rights of these people, and it becomes easy for a motorist to vent his anger and frustration on a bicyclist in front of him.

An aggressive driver may:

  • Put high beams on drivers who cut him off
  • Not allow drivers to merge
  • Run red lights
  • Pass slower drivers and cut in front of them
  • Make rude gestures
  • Not allow drivers to pass

These are a motorist’s way of insulting other motorists that can definitely prove dangerous. If you find yourself on the street with another motorist who is behaving aggressively with you:

  • Ignore the insults.
  • Slow down your vehicle, or take the next exit to avoid the aggressive driver.
  • If you find the motorist still following you, try to pull into a safe area where he isn’t able to harm you, like a police station.
  • Avoid reacting to the other motorist’ angry behavior.
  • Avoid eye contact with the motorist.
  • Avoid trying to talk with the motorist to diffuse the situation -it only makes things worse.

Our Atlanta car accident lawyers have come across several cases of accidents that were set off by one of the motorists’ aggressive driving. The important thing to remember when you are dealing with a driver in the throes of road rage is that he is a total stranger, and could be drunk, on drugs, have a weapon in his car or could simply be itching to pick up a serious fight with you.   None of these situations are safe for you.

So, where do you find the nicest drivers in the country? Head to Portland, followed by Cleveland, Baltimore, Sacramento and Pittsburgh.