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Avoid road rage incidents while on family vacations

If you are like many Americans, you will be heading out on the highway this summer for a family vacation. But the roads are much busier these days than they were only a generation ago, and that much anticipated summer holiday can be marred by ugly episodes of road rage.

No one likes to consider placing their family in danger, at the whims of drivers with uncontrolled aggression, some of whom may even be armed with deadly weapons. Below are some tips for avoiding engaging with drivers with dangerous behavior patterns.

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of road rage. These behaviors run the spectrum from drivers flipping off a motorist who cuts them off to those who try to run another vehicle off the road or open fire at its occupants.

The best way to avoid road rage incidents is to be a good and courteous driver. Using turn signals when changing lanes and exiting, not riding the bumper of the car ahead and keeping to the right except when passing are all good driving techniques.

But mistakes on unfamiliar roads will occur. When they do, attempt to signal "I'm sorry" with a polite gesture or shrug. If the driver escalates the incident by blaring a horn or giving a one-finger salute, don't engage. Hang back a few car lengths to avoid an on-the-road encounter with an angry driver. If they persist, take the next exit and go to a populated area where a conflict is less likely to occur.

Really dangerous driving should be reported to the highway patrol, however, as it endangers all who share the road with the aggressive driver. Should he or she cause an accident with injury, regardless of any potential criminal charges for the offender, it's possible for injured parties to pursue civil justice through the Illinois courts.

Source: Automobile Insurance Advisor, "Road Rage," Michelle Deininger,, accessed June 10, 2016

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