The NHTSA estimated that 66 percent of car wrecks are linked to road rage and aggressive driving. People are dying because rage is out of control. What’s behind the surge?
What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘road rage?’ More than likely you think of a crazy driver who chases down another vehicle while cursing and threatening violence. But the truth is, road rage has become far more than two drivers gesturing at each other angrily and giving each other the single-finger salute.
In fact, road rage is increasing throughout the U.S. at an alarming rate, and far from just being about two drivers blowing off some steam, it is becoming deadly. According to an Automobile Association of America (AAA) study, 80 percent of drivers have expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year…including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver.”
So the questions are: Why is road rage becoming more of a problem on the road? What are some of the ways to curb this behavior? How can you avoid driving aggressively? Let’s dive into the answers so that you can feel safer on the road.
What Is Road Rage?
So, what is road rage and why is this driving behavior so dangerous?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that road rage is a type of aggressive driving that has crossed the line into violence and danger. It is a deliberate attempt by a driver to use a vehicle as a weapon against another driver.
Unlike milder forms of aggressive driving such as a driver who constantly changes lanes, a driver who tailgates, a driver who frequently honks, or a driver who gestures angrily at other drivers, road rage is often treated as a criminal act, and can result in the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
And according to Safe Motorist, 66 percent of car accidents are linked to aggressive driving and road rage, including:
- Drivers using their vehicles to strike another vehicle
- Drivers running another vehicle off the road
- Drivers forcing other vehicles to a stop in order to fight the driver of the vehicle
“Road rage accidents are on the rise because stress levels are also on the rise,” stated Dallas Car Wreck Attorney Amy Witherite, partner at the law firm of Eberstein Witherite, LLP. “Some drivers are already angry when they get into their car, so any small incident can trigger their anger. So it’s important for drivers to understand some of the causes of road rage so that they can avoid those behaviors.”
Road Rage Triggers
In fact, Witherite points to a hugely important facet of this problem: road rage triggers. Some common road rage triggers include:
- Texting behavior of another driver – road rage is often triggered by drivers who are busy texting instead of focusing on the road.
- Being cut off by another driver – drivers who abruptly enter a lane without signaling or obtaining permission from another driver can trigger road rage.
- Mobile phone behavior of another driver – drivers who are busy chatting on their phones can cause road rage in other drivers, especially if they are driving too slow, failing to signal when making a turn, or veering into another lane.
Remember also that people who exhibit road rage may also be carrying stress and anxiety from other parts of their lives that heightens their reaction to one of these triggers.
How You Can Prevent Road Rage
Given these dangers, how can you prevent road rage that can cause a tragic accident?
First, pay attention to the road, and don’t cut off another driver or change lanes without signaling or ensuring you have enough room to safely make the lane change. Second, don’t react to every driver’s error on the road. Third, avoid eye contact and don’t make gestures if you are confronted by a driver with road rage.
Filing a Road Rage Legal Claim
As road rage continues to rise throughout the U.S., it is important that victims of accidents caused by aggressive and violent behavior file legal claims for pain and suffering and damages. Hiring an experienced personal injury law firm such as the team at 1-800-Car Wreck is the first step towards protecting your rights and restoring your peace of mind.
“Our team is committed to getting our clients back on their feet,” stated Amy Witherite. “Road rage accidents cause emotional and physical trauma, which can bring life to a screeching halt. It’s the little things that matter after our clients are hurt in an accident, such as getting to their physical therapy appointments, and picking up groceries when they’re in pain. We take care of our clients, so they can focus on recovering and getting back to their normal lives.”