Even though Washington State Police officers are cracking down on aggressive drivers, there is still no state law against aggressive driving. This means you are very likely to find yourself sharing the road with angry drivers who act on that emotion. Knowing and understanding common road rage triggers is important in helping prevent becoming a victim of one of these drivers. Common road rage triggers include:
Texting and Driving
Under Washington Statute RCW § 46.61.668, it is illegal to read, write, or send a text message while driving. You will notice while driving, though, that the law does little to discourage drivers from texting behind the wheel. According to Expedia’s 2014 Road Rage Report, 69 percent of respondents listed texting and driving that makes them angriest while driving.
Tailgating can raise the tempers of even the most cool and collected drivers. Whatever the reason, having someone ride a few feet from your back bumper is unnerving. What makes tailgating worse is that it often happens in conjunction with other road rage triggers. When possible, drivers should leave plenty of space to stop between their car and the vehicle in front of them, both to prevent an accident and to prevent road rage. If someone is tailgating you, know these tips for how to handle tailgaters.
Hogging the Left Lane
Slowpokes in the left lane have frustrated us all. Certainly, those going below the speed limit should be in the right lane, but for some aggressive drivers even driving a few miles above the speed limit is not fast enough. To reduce the risk of being involved in a road rage incident, drivers should reserve the left lane for passing whenever possible.
Cutting off Other Drivers
Many drivers are in a constant rush, and take unnecessary risks to get ahead in traffic. Sometimes this comes in the form of weaving in and out of traffic without signaling, pulling out in front of you, and using turn or exit lanes to pass cars and then cutting in front of traffic at the last minute.
Problems with Merge Lanes
Drivers are supposed to use merge lanes to get up to speed and then merge with other traffic, but many people do not use them properly. In heavy traffic, merging also becomes an issue when drivers do not allow other motorists to merge onto the interstate properly. Merging can also cause problems when lanes end by creating a traffic jam and angering other drivers.
Unnecessary or Prolonged Honking
Nothing raises a driver’s blood pressure quite like hearing the prolonged blast of a car horn because he did move as soon as the light turned green or because he was not comfortable pulling out into traffic.
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