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Dealing with unsafe drivers on the road

Oftentimes, car crashes seem to happen out of nowhere. Another driver's negligence may not become apparent until it is too late. However, there are some precautions you can take to decrease the likelihood of an accident.

Staying alert to your surroundings and identifying risky behaviors by other drivers can help you stay away from vehicles likely to cause a crash. Thus, cutting off distractions can keep you from making mistakes yourself and also guard you from other drivers' errors.

Danger signals

Certain driving behaviors can indicate dangerous levels of distraction or impairment. Watch out for vehicles that drift from their lanes, stop and start abruptly or exhibit other erratic driving patterns. Slowness or failure to obey traffic signage or react to changing lights can also serve as a red flag. Safe driving also means taking appropriate steps in bad weather. A car that does not have its lights on when visibility is poor or does not slow down on slippery roads increases the risk of a crash.

Another major source of traffic accidents is aggressive driving, incidents of which continue to increase. You can often identify angry drivers before they confront you. Excessive honking, weaving in and out of traffic and cutting off other drivers can all indicate a driver who may intensify the levels of rage.

What you should do

If you observe unsafe driving, you can contact the police or state troopers to report it. When doing so, take care not to become distracted by making the call. The best option is to pull over before calling. More immediately, try to put some distance between yourself and the unsafe driver. While you may feel tempted to correct risky behavior by slamming on your horn or yelling at the driver, doing so tends to escalate the situation. Aggressive drivers may retaliate in various ways. In some cases, angry drivers have followed targets and physically attacked them.

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