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How Road Rage Can Affect Your Edmonton Car Insurance Policy

Have you ever experienced road rage, or have you ever witnessed road rage?

If you have, then you probably know this story all too well: you have a busy life with a long to-do list. Enough sleep is a luxury you can hardly afford. The commute to work is a daily struggle as you navigate a high traffic volume, sometimes running late. 

At times you may encounter an aggressive driver who is similarly frustrated, or you may even become one yourself.

Sometimes, an accident or other incident on the road may occur. Another driver may experience frustration and display anger and hostile behaviour.

Or, you may experience frustration, taking out your anger on another driver or even pedestrian.

In these situations, road rage can occur – and when it does, it rarely ends well.

What is Road Rage?

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines road rage as: “a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behaviour.”

Road rage is aggressive behaviour that motorists exhibit towards other drivers or non-drivers. 

Some of these behaviours can include verbal insults, dangerous driving targeted towards other people, physical threats, or intimidation. 

Road rage can result in explosive behaviour. A person’s temper takes over, and they attempt to take out revenge on the perceived wrongdoing. It often results from anger or frustration, a lack of awareness about their agitation, or a feeling of entitlement.

What Behaviours Occur During “Road Rage”?

Road rage can entail any aggressive or hostile driving behaviour where you use your vehicle to retaliate. Drivers immersed in road rage may exhibit the following behaviours:

  • Feel the need to speed in any lane
  • Drive too slow
  • Cut off other drivers
  • Make unsafe lane changes 
  • Follow too close
  • Disobey traffic signs
  • Cut off other motorists
  • Stop in traffic to fight or exchange words
  • Run a person off the road 
  • Physical violence 

These are punishable offences, and a conviction can affect your driving record and auto insurance rates in Edmonton, Alberta.

Road Rage Can Affect Your Auto Insurance. Here’s How to Avoid it

It is straightforward to avoid road rage. All it takes is a good attitude.

There is only room for two hands and a clear mind once you sit behind the steering wheel. Rather than getting revenge if you feel upset, it’s time to pull over. The act of getting off the road for a moment to take a deep breath and advising someone you are going to be late may be enough to take the pressure off so that you can get to your destination safely.

A good attitude will make coping with negative thoughts easier and lessen the chance to interfere with your driving. Expect and leave extra time for slow traffic, inclement weather, construction, mechanical problems with your vehicle, or malfunctioning traffic signals. If you are stuck in traffic, consider soothing music or listening to audiobooks in the car so you don’t feel pumped up or rushed.

Leave a good deal of space in front and to the side of your vehicle when possible. An accident caused by tailgating is your fault even if the car in front of you stops or stalls.

Use your horn for emergency purposes only. Startling drivers around you by broadcasting your frustration will not get you to your destination any faster. 

Similarly, shouting at another driver is unnecessary and aggressive. Obscene gestures are also a sure way to antagonize an aggressive driver and invite those who want to retaliate with a confrontation. Remember that every motorist has a family, and imagine that your loved ones are in the other vehicles. Remember that you’ve made driving mistakes in the past too.

Putting yourself in other people’s shoes can help you avoid these types of road rage incidents.

What to Do When You Face a Hostile or Aggressive Driver

If you observe a driver who you suspect is hostile or aggressive, there are ways to deal with it safely. Here are some tips:

  • Do not make eye contact
  • Get out of their way
  • Pullover and wait until the driver is a safe distance away from your vehicle.
  • Note the licence plate, model, colour of the car, and any other details you can document from a safe distance.
  • Make a report to the local authorities if you believe the driver to be a serious and dangerous threat to other drivers in the area. 
  • If the individual causes you to become involved in an accident, report the incident to the police and submit a car insurance claim in Edmonton.

How Road Rage Could Affect Your Auto Insurance Policy

Road rage that results in a fine or conviction on your driving record can lead to higher premiums. Road rage that results in an accident is a serious red flag that can increase your auto insurance premium from 50 to over 200 percent. You also receive demerit points.

Consequently, your insurer could deny you an insurance renewal, so you would need to find a high-risk driver policy elsewhere instead. If you are in an accident where you engaged in road rage or other criminal behaviour, you may also face denial of a full payout for your vehicle’s damages.

road rage

Speak to the Auto Insurance Brokers at MBS Insurance About Your Edmonton Policy

At MBS Insurance, we can assist you with obtaining the best car insurance rates in Edmonton. Our brokers can discuss ways to reduce your premiums, including how to improve your driving profile. Never forget, however, that safe driving will always pay off, and collision-free discounts may be available to you.

With over 40 years in the industry, we understand the obstacles on the road, and we’re here to protect you every step of the way. Contact us to learn more about our auto insurance policies online or at 780-436-7880. We also offer several auto insurance discounts

For a breakdown of auto insurance premium factors in Alberta, click here.

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This article was originally published on April 14, 2016 and updated for 2021.