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Road rage: defusing it in others and avoiding it in oneself

Aggressive and bullying drivers are as much a fact of life in Pennsylvania as they are anywhere else. They cut off other drivers, ride people's bumpers to make them move out of the way and steal parking spots. The question is not how to make such drivers kinder. Instead, the issue is how to keep them from getting angrier and to not make moves that can compromise everyone's safety. Like with many other things, the process begins with one's self.

Drivers should never give in to road rage themselves. Instead, people should stay calm and think reasonable thoughts while behind the wheel. Activities like listening to classical music may also help some individuals as it has been proven to relieve stress. People should never make eye contact with offending drivers, make inflammatory gestures, honk the horn for a prolonged time or flash the headlights at them.

While on highways, drivers that are faced with someone who wants them to move over should do so as soon as it's safe. They should not speed up or slow down since they may accidentally block a passing lane and aggravate the other driver even more. It's important to keep the driver from passing on the right. Also, when facing gridlock, drivers should maintain a few extra feet of space in case they need a quick escape.

When aggressive drivers cause car accidents, it can seem clear where the fault lies. However, if a victim is considering filing an injury claim, he or she will want to speak with a lawyer first. Attorneys can evaluate claims and determine if there was any contributory negligence. If there is, it will lower the amount to which a victim may be eligible. Lawyers can also hire investigators and experts in the field of accident reconstruction before proceeding to negotiations. If the insurance companies don't pay out, attorneys and their clients can then consider litigation.

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