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Avoiding Aggressive Driving and Its Effects on Your Health

You’re running late and hit traffic or get caught behind a slow driver. Feelings of impatience start to grow, and you consider illegally passing a driver or following closer to get them to move over. It’s happened to the best of us on the road, though research indicates that becoming aggressive behind the wheel can put your health and safety in danger. 

If you or a loved one has been injured into a traffic accident, it is imperative to reach out to an experienced lawyer like Blair & Ramirez LLP, a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, California.

Millions of drivers admit to aggressive driving, including:

  • 104 million admit to tailgating
  • 95 million admit to yelling at other drivers
  • 91 million admit to honking due to annoyance or anger
  • 67 million admit to making angry gestures
  • 49 million admit to blocking other drivers from changing lanes
  • 24 million admit to intentionally cutting off someone else
  • 7.6 million admit to getting out of the car to start a confrontation
  • 5.7 million admit to intentionally hitting another car

All aggressive drivers risk getting into an accident, which clearly puts their safety at risk. Also, studies show that aggressive driving can impact your overall health - even if you don’t get into a crash. Such stress behind the wheel can lead to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stress and anxiety 
  • Heart disease

Many injuries and health issues can occur because people lose their temper behind the wheel, and all of these risks are avoidable if a driver takes steps to prevent aggressive driving. 

How Defensive Driving Can Help

Aggressive drivers feed off one another. If one driver honks unnecessarily at someone else, the other driver might make an offensive gesture or yell back. This increases the stress and aggression of both drivers. On the other hand, drivers who are kinder and considerate of others can encourage their fellow drivers also to stay calm and put safety first. 

Defensive driving is a skill that goes a long way when it comes to preventing aggression on the road. While it’s very important for all new teen drivers to learn the secrets of defensive driving, these skills can benefit drivers of any age, as well - especially if you realize you’re becoming more and more impatient or aggressive on the road. 

The following are some important defensive driving skills that can help keep you safer and healthy:

  • Always put safety first, which can help to avoid aggression.
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • If someone seems like they are aggressive, move out of their way and give them plenty of space.
  • Never confront or agitate another driver, even if they did something wrong. Instead, let it go to keep yourself safe.
  • Be aware of the actions of other drivers, and never assume they will make the safe choice.
  • Follow the speed limit and always follow at a safe distance, even in traffic.

It can be difficult for many of us to stay this patient and aware on the road. Sometimes, the easier choice is to react in an aggressive manner.

Taking a course from our defensive driving school can help to train your mind to remain calm and alert. By practicing defensive driving with a trained instructor and learning about the many benefits, you can keep calm and hopefully keep yourself safe and healthier - even when you are faced with a stressful situation!

About the author: Olivia Parker is the legal writer and communication specialist at Blair & Ramirez, LLP, a personal injury law firm in Los Angeles. Olivia has been working in the legal industry for seven years and enjoys researching and writing articles that spread the word about the dangers of aggressive driving. When not in the office, she enjoys taking long beach walks with her dog.