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It is not uncommon for New Jersey motorists to become angry while stuck in traffic or rushing to get home from work. In fact, more than 80% of American drivers admit that they have felt road rage at least once within the past year.

While it is normal to have feelings of anger and irritation when behind the wheel, it can become dangerous if you begin to display hazardous driving behaviors. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 56% of deadly car accidents over a 5-year period involved at least one form of aggressive driving.

What are the signs of road rage?

It is critical to be able to identify the signs of road rage so you can protect yourself and others on the road. Look out for the following:

  • Changing lanes erratically, cutting off other drivers in the process
  • Blocking drivers from changing lanes
  • Speeding or racing other vehicles
  • Tailgating or following too closely behind another driver
  • Failing to yield to other vehicles’ right of way, traffic lights or stop signs
  • Excessive honking, yelling or using profane hand gestures

Drivers with road rage may also drive on the shoulder of the road or pass other vehicles where prohibited. Reckless drivers may inadvertently or intentionally hit into other vehicles. These drivers may also exit their cars with the intent of causing physical harm to other motorists.

What should you do?

When encountering an angry driver, your initial reaction may be to fight back, exchange words, not let the driver pass or drive slow in order to annoy them. Yet, law enforcement officers urge drivers to avoid interacting with angry motorists. Instead, contact officers and allow them to handle the problem in a safe manner.