Siegal & RichardsonLLP

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Preventing and dealing with road rage

Defusing road rage is often very important when driving on the roads of California. The following are just a few tips that all motorists should remember. When cut off by others, drivers must remain calm. There are various ways of doing this, such as listening to music (which is proven to relieve stress) and reasoning with one's self that being angry will not make one get home sooner.

At the very least, there are good health reasons for not getting angry behind the wheel. For example, tightly gripping the steering wheel constricts blood flow and causes headaches. Being cut off is not the only situation where restraint is necessary; drivers should also learn to let go of parking spaces when they are stolen.

Even if drivers remain angry, they should keep from making inflammatory gestures, honking the horn or flashing the high beams. This will only inflame the other driver. Making eye contact with the offending driver could be taken as a challenge, so this should also be avoided.

In traffic jams, drivers should maintain ample "breathing room" from the car in front. That way, when angry drivers crowd into the rear, one can make a quick escape. Lastly, drivers should move over for impatient drivers on highways.

Road rage is behind many auto accidents, and it can be difficult to determine to what degree each party was at fault. Someone who believes that they were an innocent victim may want to see a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim. The lawyer could evaluate the case in the light of California's comparative negligence rule. The victim can then leave all settlement negotiations to legal counsel.

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