By Abby Pang
Lawyer – Simpson, Thomas & Associates
Aggressive driving increases the chances of being hurt in a major accident. Surrey lawyers at Simpson, Thomas & Associates have represented many accident victims who have been seriously injured by aggressive drivers. Following too closely, ignoring traffic control devices, failing to yield the right of way, improper passing, abrupt lane changes – these are just some of the examples of high-risk, aggressive driving that can cause car crashes. It is important to know how to respond or diffuse the situation if you encounter an aggressive driver. Here are our top 5 tips on dealing with aggressive drivers:
- Yield the right of way if an aggressive driver does not:There are many instances where the rules of the road require a give-and-take – four-way stop intersections are a prime example. When aggressive drivers don’t wait their turn, they put everyone else on the road at risk of a major accident. Surrey lawyers at our firm have seen cases where aggressive drivers challenge for the right-of-way when turning left at an intersection or when exiting a parking lot, causing a crash that injures other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. If you encounter an aggressive driver, take the proverbial high road and yield the right of way.
- Leave space around your vehicle so you can react to an aggressive driver: Allow enough room around your vehicle so that you have time and space to respond if faced with a driver who engages in risky driving behaviour. For example, when approaching a red light at an intersection, leave extra room ahead of your vehicle so that you can pull out or forward in the event that an aggressive driver approaches to quickly from behind or stops too close to your vehicle.
- Keep your vehicle at a safe speed:When another driver is tailgating your vehicle, the instinct is often to increase your vehicle’s speed to put some distance between vehicles. Others may respond to tailgating by slowing their vehicle’s speed significantly to encourage the aggressive driver to pass (or worse, block the passing lane to “annoy” the aggressive driver). Instead, drivers should maintain a safe speed, signal, and change lanes when appropriate to allow the aggressive driver to pass. Don’t let another’s risky driving make you a risky driver too.
- Stay calm and avoid confrontation:If you encounter an angry driver or driver who makes a mistake such as cutting your vehicle off or taking your parking space, do not respond with aggressive behaviour such as yelling, excessive honking, or rude hand gestures that may escalate the situation or ignite a “road rage” incident. You should stay calm and be polite, even if other drivers do not.
- Report aggressive drivers or dangerous driving:If the situation warrants, you should report an aggressive driver to the authorities. Make note of the driver’s licence plate and call the non-emergency police phone number when it is safe for you to do so (remember, do not use your phone while operating a vehicle). If you see driving behaviour that is so reckless or dangerous that it could result in immediate harm to others, pull your vehicle over safely and call 911 to make the report immediately.
Surrey/Delta, Abbotsford, and Vancouver lawyers at Simpson, Thomas & Associates are available if you or a loved one has been injured by an aggressive driver. Our personal injury law firm has an enviable record of success handling complex ICBC claims for clients throughout BC and our major accident injury lawyers aim to continue building on our reputation of providing the best quality service to our clients. To find out how the team at with Simpson, Thomas & Associates can guide you through the ICBC claims process and maximize your compensation, request a free consultation via our online form, or call us today at (604) 689-8888.
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