Suggestions on coping with aggressive drivers

It is an unfortunately fact of life that some feel they own the road and will drive aggressively - putting others at risk for injury or even death. Here are some suggestions.

How to deal with aggressive drivers

Common aggressive driving behaviors

* Running stop signs and red lights

* Speeding, tailgating, and weaving between lanes

* Passing on the right of a vehicle

* Making inappropriate hand and facial gestures

* Screaming, honking the horn, and flashing headlights

If you are confronted by an aggressive driver, or witness aggressive driving behavior, follow these guidelines:

* Make every attempt to safely move out of the aggressive driver’s way.

* Do not challenge an aggressive driver by speeding up or attempting to “hold your own” in the travel lane.

* Always wear your seat belt — not only will it hold you in your seat and behind the wheel in case you need to make an abrupt driving maneuver, but it will also protect you in a crash.

* Avoid eye contact with the aggressive driver.

* Ignore gestures, and refuse to return them.

* Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities by providing a vehicle description, license number, location, and if possible, direction of travel.

* If you have a cellular phone, and can use it while driving safely, call the police. Many have special numbers such as 9-1-1 or #-7-7.

* If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash farther down the road, stop at a safe distance from the crash scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the driving behavior that you witnessed.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration