Drunk driving is dangerous; there’s no doubt about it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…
We are all just trying to get to our destinations, right? Wait, did you spot the missing keyword in that sentence? It’s safely. While many people make an effort to drive safely, others do not. Many reasons can lead people to drive aggressively: stress, time-demands, or sometimes blatant disregard of local transit laws. We hope that you do not ever encounter road rage. Unfortunately, the numbers strongly suggest that road rage can affect anyone.
In this blog:
What is Road Rage? Is it the same as Aggressive Driving?
Road rage and aggressive driving are one and the same. Aggressive driving behaviors can range from flagrant violations to subtle actions. Below is a list including examples of road rage.
- Speeding in heavy traffic
- Tailgating: driving too close to the rear of the car in front
- Cutting in front of other drivers and then slowing down.
- Swerving between lanes
- Running red lights
- Threatening other drivers with words, gestures or firearms
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Blocking cars attempting to change lanes or pass
- Excessive honking
The rates of road rage-related incidents continue increasing. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety surveyed drivers and found that 31% of interviewed motorists ran a red light and 48% drove at least 15 miles over the speed limit on a freeway. Furthermore, 32% of drivers admitted to making rude gestures or honking at other motorists. According to an analysis of the Gun Violence Archive Database performed by Everytown, 30 murders are attributed to road rage shooting each year.
Surveys and studies suggest that males are more likely to engage in aggressive driving. Furthermore, men are more likely to b
e on the receiving end of aggressive driving. As far as age goes, men younger than 19 have a higher tendency of road rage. However, millennials, people born between 1981-1997, are the generation with the highest incidence of road rage
Road Rage Across the States
Data from the Gun Violence Archive Database shows that the states that reported a higher incidence of road rage involving guns in 2022 were Texas,
Florida, California. 2023 seems to be following the same trend, with Texas and Pennsylvania taking the lead in
reported road rage incidents involving guns, followed by a trifold tie between California, Florida, and Georgia. It is noteworthy that Texas has three times the number of gun-related road rage incidents as the next 4 states on the list.
In the News
Late last year, a road rage stand-off made national headlines when two fathers engaged in a fit of road rage involving a pursuit, during which they shot each other’s minor daughters. Fortunately, the children survived the incident. However, this spur-of-the-moment road violence could have been fatal, and all the parties involved are still left to deal with the traumatic aftermath of the incident. Consequently, this incident is just one illustration of why road rage should be prevented.
How Can I Avoid Driving With Road Rage?
Some people find driving to be therapeutic, but for others, driving can become a stress-inducing obligation under certain circumstances. There are techniques that can help reduce aggressive attitudes while driving. Try considering the following before and during your drive:
- Ask yourself, Am I excessively tired or sleep-deprived? Studies show that driving with exhaustion can lead to delayed reactions and bad choices like overreacting to other drivers or to general situations like unfavorable climate and heavy traffic. Try planning ahead, so you can drive without being compromised.
- Say no to drinking and driving. Alcohol reduces the ability to react quickly and appropriately to traffic. Studies indicate that alcohol promotes poor choices behind the wheel and for many, it can induce aggressive behaviors.
- Remember, it is better to be late than to have an accident. Speeding, swerving through traffic, or running a red light can cause an accident for you and surrounding vehicles. This could mean you would definitely arrive later in the event of an accident, or sadly, not arrive at all.
- Pass the key or take a break. When you start to feel agitated, you should consider taking a break from driving in a safe place as soon as possible. Stay in the safe place until you feel calm enough to drive safely.
- Try learning calming techniques like deep breathing, reframing or listening to positive music.
- Leave earlier to make sure you get there on time. This reduces the chances of getting angry about lost time in traffic.
- Be aware of your driving. Considerate driving can decrease your chances of getting angry with other drivers or initiating situations that could escalate.
Tips to Avoid Being on the Receiving End of Road Rage
When we are driving, we cannot guess how the other driver is going to respond. Keep in mind that what might start as a simple reaction to someone else’s unsafe driving, could easily escalate. It is important to practice safe and considerate driving to minimize the possibility of having an accident.
- Change your headlights’ intensity promptly. Be extra careful when driving at night.
- Use your signals when entering traffic and changing lanes.
- Yield to others when it is necessary and safe.
- Let it go. Do not respond to aggravated drivers in kind. Be the bigger person and focus on getting to your destination safely. Consider if it is safer to yield the right of way to the aggressive driver and avoid a confrontation.
Taking note of details like the ones mentioned above can help you avoid being unintentionally inconsiderate to other drivers. In turn, this could lower your chances of upsetting another driver, who could potentially trigger you.
What Can I Do After a Road Rage Accident?
- Avoid eye contact with the other driver and any other gestures and attitudes that could be perceived as aggressive.
- Assess injuries – You should verify yourself for damages first, then you can check others to see if they are hurt.
- Get to safety – If the situation allows, move to a safe location away from the direct flow of ongoing traffic.
- Call 911
- Be careful what you say – Wait to admit fault, apologize or sign anything taking responsibility until you consult an attorney.
- Gather information – Take photos and secure the contact information of the other driver and officer assisting you. If the other motorist is upset, communicate through the police as much as possible. Remember to avoid volunteering incriminating information.
- Contact a car crash attorney – A personal injury attorney with experience in motor vehicle accidents can help you focus on the important things after a road rage car crash, starting with your health and safety.
Road Rage Accident Attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm
An attorney with expertise in motor vehicle accidents can assist you in gaining clarity following the uncertainty of a road rage incident. It is important to have a compassionate lawyer who understands the ins and outs of car crash cases. An attorney can guide you through the process of gathering relevant information and taking the proper steps to protect your rights. This will give you the best chance of obtaining a fair recovery for your damages. Compensation for car crash injuries can include resolving medical bills, pain and suffering, and future medical expenses. If you or someone you care about were hurt in a car accident, it’s important to talk to a personal injury lawyer right away. Our lawyers and their legal team at The Carlson Law Firm will be there for you throughout the claim process with professionalism and understanding. We Care. We Can Help.