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5 reasons for aggressive driving

Aggressive driving can lead directly to accidents, and you'd never engage in it yourself. After all, your kids are usually in the car -- your goal is to set a good example for them and to keep them safe. However, even though you think you're driving safely one day, you become the target of another driver's road rage or aggressive driving. Why is this so hard to avoid? A few reasons from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration include:

1. Drivers feel anonymous.

Drivers who would never scream and curse at another person in the grocery store or the park may do it in a car because of the level of separation it provides. They're less likely to rein in their emotions over simple mistakes that they'd laugh off or ignore in person.

2. People are always rushed.

Even little things make drivers angry when they're already in a hurry. If they know they're going to be late for work and then slow drivers cut them off, they become furious. If they were 20 minutes ahead of schedule, they may react entirely differently.

3. Traffic grows congested.

Rush hour may bring on the most road rage, as traffic drops to a standstill. This can also be an issue in areas with closed lanes due to road work, especially if there are no workers on site at the time. If drivers are also in a hurry, it gets worse. With no time to waste, they feel extremely frustrated and out of control of their situations.

4. Feeling disrespected.

Drivers sometimes take mistakes very personally. Maybe you accidentally cut off a driver you never saw. He or she could feel slighted and even insulted, as if you didn't take his or her safety seriously. You never intended to do anything wrong, but that driver could become furious over a little error. If you don't even think you did anything incorrectly, perhaps honking your horn right back, it could become a power struggle over this perceived lack of respect.

5. Ignorance of the rules.

Drivers don't always grasp the rules of the road, and those who do can become irate. When one driver doesn't go on the proper turn at a four-way stop, for instance, drivers stuck behind him or her could become angry and aggressive, honking and tailgating. The same can happen when slow drivers stay in the fast lane, rather than moving to the slow lane.

Despite your efforts to drive safely, protecting your kids and following the traffic laws, you could run into an aggressive driver who causes an accident. This can lead to serious injuries for you and your children, which are no fault of your own but which still lead to extensive medical bills. When this happens, you must know what rights you have to compensation.

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