When you read news stories about driving trends these days, you are more likely to hear about distracted or drunk driving than road rage. But that does not mean that road rage crashes aren’t still a big problem in Houston. Maybe you have been targeted by an out-of-control driver trying to injure you (or at least scare you) for something “wrong” you supposedly did.

You can’t predict if a road-rage driver will ever force you into a car crash, but you can take steps to reduce your risk. Here are four tips for preventing road rage:

1. Give yourself plenty of time. Try to leave early enough so that you can reach your destination without having to rush. This makes it unnecessary to speed, tailgate or change lanes frequently, any of which can anger a potential road rager.

2. Do the zipper merge. Ideally, everyone would let other vehicles merge in front of them one at a time. This is called “zipper merging.” Set a good example for others by giving space to the person ahead of you in the merge lane to get over.

3. Ignore jerks. It can be tough in the heat of the moment when someone cuts you off or makes an obscene gesture at you. But try not to escalate the situation. Avoid making eye contact or responding.

4. Drive to the police. If a road rage driver starts following you, proceed to the nearest police station or sheriff’s office. Stay in your car until you get there. If you think you are in immediate danger, call 911 and let them know what is happening. Hopefully, the sight of the station will convince the road rager to leave you alone instead of committing a crime in front of dozens of officers.

We all have to deal with rude drivers from time to time. Hopefully you will never get in the way of a driver consumed with road rage who gets you into a serious accident. But if you do, you could end up with serious injuries. Then you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process of getting fair compensation from the defendant’s insurance company.