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Watching out for aggressive drivers

There are many great things about living in Colorado; unfortunately, driving on its roads is not among them. According to several insurance studies, Colorado drivers rank among the nation’s worst for their frequently aggressive driving.

Driving aggressively often leads to accidents, as angry drivers tend to ignore traffic rules as well as common courtesy. You can reduce your risk by learning to recognize some red flags from afar and staying away from problem drivers.

Stay away from rule breakers

Traffic rules and signs are there for everyone’s safety, so breaking them is usually not the best idea. However, many people, on occasion, go a few miles over the posted limit or do not stop long enough at a stop sign if they do not see anyone coming.

An aggressive driver can stand out by the degree of his or her rule breaking. This type of driver blows past the speed limit and maneuvers aggressively to pass other cars, sometimes cutting them off. He or she may ignore traffic signs and lights, speed up and slow down abruptly or follow too closely. If you observe any of these behaviors, put some distance between yourself and this driver as soon as you can, as this type of conduct substantially increases the risk of a crash.

Do not engage

Other times, aggressive drivers may single out a particular vehicle as the target of their anger. If you notice a driver is tailgating you, shouting, honking or making rude gestures, it is important to try to get away without responding. You may feel the temptation to give a rude driver a piece of your mind. Doing so, however, can escalate the situation to an even more dangerous level.

Avoid getting angry

Finally, take care not to turn into an aggressive driver yourself. Factors such as traffic congestion or bad drivers can be irritating. Planning in advance can make it easier for you to stay calm even in a trying situation. Look up your route before you leave, and check real-time traffic alerts. It is easier to keep you cool if you are not in a hurry.