What should you tell your teen about aggressive drivers?

On Behalf of The Kaiser Law Group

As an adult, you have certainly driven around aggressive drivers numerous times. Some of them tailgate, honk their horns, flash their lights, make aggressive passes or even make hand gestures out the window. It is not ideal, but it is a thing that people run into all the time.

However, as a parent, you may be worried about what your teenager would do if they found themselves in this position. How would they react to that aggressive driver? Would they know how to stay safe? Parents naturally worry about their kids when they learn to drive, and this is one of the dangers on the road. Here are some things to tell your child about how to handle an aggressive driver.

If they want to pass, let them

In many cases, aggressive drivers and tailgaters are simply trying to pass. They certainly should not go about it this way, but that is their only intention. The safest thing to do is often to find a controlled way to let them pass, like switching lanes or pulling into a parking lot.

De-escalate the situation

You should always be looking to de-escalate the situation, and that normally means simply ignoring the other driver. Don’t yell back. Don’t make hand gestures. Don’t even make eye contact if you don’t have to. Many times, just ignoring the behavior causes the driver to go on their way without anything more serious happening.

Know when to contact the police

Unfortunately, some of these situations are going to turn into road rage, and it may be important to contact the police. Tell your child not to get out of the car and confront the other driver. But if they can find a safe place to stop and lock their doors, then they can make a call to the authorities. This is very rare, though, as simply de-escalating the situation can usually avoid this extreme result.

If your child has been injured in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, then you must know about your legal options.

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