In Tennessee, construction delays, heavy traffic, and inconsiderate behavior can transform a normally calm, rational person into a frustrated, angry driver. Individuals who vent this anger on the roadways may become a threat to you, occupants of vehicles sharing the road, pedestrians and objects nearby.

Accidents fueled by aggressive driving or road rage often result in injuries or fatalities. According to Bankrate, road rage causes approximately 1,800 injuries per year. Here are some tips for handling another driver’s aggressive or rude behavior behind the wheel.

Do not respond in kind

If another driver yells, makes lewd gestures or honks at you, slow down and let them go around. This allows you to put significant distance between you and may deescalate the situation. Responding to their behavior in a similar way can fuel the anger and potentially incite a traffic accident or related incident.

Practice safe driving

Experiencing rude driving behavior often sets off-road rage in an individual. Be a polite driver, avoid tailgating, speeding and frequently changing lanes. Using your blinker, merging politely and leaving extra room between vehicles can minimize the potential for road rage and make the commute more pleasant for everyone.

Maintain a calm head

Avoid driving when angry or upset when possible. If you must get behind the wheel, take deep breaths, listen to calming music. Leaving your house a few minutes earlier than usual can relieve some of the tension about arriving at your destination late. If you have a reasonable expectation of how long your drive takes, you are less likely to exhibit reckless acts that could make another driver angry.

Understanding how your behavior affects others on the road can help you avoid road rage situations. If another driver purposely follows you or takes action that results in catastrophic injuries to you or your vehicle, you may have grounds for a claim.