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Road rage, and how to defuse it

Road rage is all too common in New York, but there are several tips that one can follow when faced with an aggressive or impatient driver. It could make all the difference between getting in a crash and avoiding one. For instance, drivers can maintain more "breathing room" from the vehicle in front during traffic jams; that way, if an impatient driver gets too close, they can easily escape.

On multi-lane highways, it is best to move over when impatient drivers begin to honk the horn and flash the headlights at them. So as not to block a passing lane, drivers should not slow down or speed up but rather signal a right turn and follow through with their intention as soon as it's safe.

Those who are offended by an aggressive or impatient driver should remain calm themselves. If they are cut off, they should not honk the horn, flash the high beams or make certain hand gestures that will only further aggravate the driver. There should be no eye contact either, as pleasant as it may feel to shoot a sarcastic look.

Drivers must discover for themselves what strategies help them remain calm. One could relieve stress through classical music or try to think rational thoughts. Simply gripping the steering wheel is a bad idea; it constricts blood flow and causes headaches.

Incurring a personal injury through the negligence of another driver is bad enough, but when the other acted recklessly, there is even more reason to file a personal injury claim. Victims of road rage or some other form of recklessness can not only sue for legitimate losses like vehicle repair costs and medical expenses but also request punitive damages. By hiring a lawyer, they might have someone to speak on their behalf during negotiations or during the courtroom trial.

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