Many of us lead busy lives, which require us to juggle numerous responsibilities. Between rushing to and from work or school, attending to the needs of family members, and trying to get important errands done, it is only natural to find yourself feeling stressed. Unfortunately, when this causes you to be impatient with other drivers it can prove dangerous, making car accidents more likely to occur. While there are no written laws requiring drivers to stay calm and focused behind the wheel, there are penalties when your impatience causes you to engage in aggressive and reckless driving behaviors.
The Dangers of Losing Your Patience when Driving
Becoming impatient behind the wheel can cause you to lose your cool with road and traffic conditions, making you more likely to engage in aggressive driving behaviors. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), nearly 80 percent of drivers in the United States admit to getting angry and acting out while driving at some point in the past year, resulting in the following types of behaviors:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
- Tailgating, or following other vehicles too closely;
- Improper passing and weaving in and out of lanes;
- Failure to yield or to take turns at stop signs;
- Racing to get through amber lights, rather than stopping;
- Disregarding road signs and other traffic signals.
The AAA reports that aggressive driving is a factor in nearly half of all fatal car accidents, and it can also put pedestrians and bicyclists at risk. Being in a hurry and losing patience can cause you to attempt to pass a slow moving biker without adequately assessing risks or to not stop for pedestrians who have the right-of-way in intersections. When injuries do occur as the result of your actions, you can be held liable for any damages that result.
Preventing Car Accidents Due to Impatience
While being impatient is not against the law, many of the above behaviors that are associated with it are. Under Nevada’s Rules of the Road, which are listed in Chapter 484B of the Nevada Revised Statutes, actions such as speeding, tailgating, improper passing, and running amber lights can result in traffic tickets carrying heavy fines. They can also result in four or more demerits on your driver’s license. As our Las Vegas car accident attorneys have discussed, these points can cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket and getting too many can cause your license to be suspended.
To keep your calm behind the wheel and to avoid losing your patience, practice the following tips:
- Leave early, giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Pay attention to traffic reports so you will not be caught by surprise.
- Remind yourself that getting angry or upset will not make other drivers move any faster.
- Practice taking deep breaths or other relaxation techniques.
There is nothing important enough that is worth risking your life or the lives of other motorists. Remember, having a driver’s license is not a right but a privilege, and we all have a duty to keep each other safe on the road.