Road Rage – A Serious Danger on US Roadways
The increasing problem of road rage
Almost 80 percent of drivers admitted to having feelings associated with road rage at least once while behind the wheel in the past year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Even more alarming is the fact that about eight million drivers in the United States admitted to engaging in extreme forms of road rage, including hitting another vehicle on purpose or getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver.
Road rage statistics
Some forms specifically tracked in the study in the order of their frequency include:
- Intentional tailgating
- Yelling at other drivers
- Honking to demonstrate frustration
- Making angry gestures
- Attempting to block another driver from switching lanes
- Intentionally cutting off another driver
- Getting out of a vehicle to confront another driver
- Intentionally hitting another vehicle
According to the study, drivers of the following groups were more likely to engage in road rage behaviors:
- Young males – Male drivers between 19 and 39 were much more likely to engage in these behaviors.
- Northeasterners – Drivers who live in the Northeast were almost 30 percent more likely to make angry gestures than drivers from other areas. Additionally, they were more likely to yell and honk.
- Observers of aggressive behaviors – The study showed that individuals who personally witnessed aggressive or unsafe driving behaviors like running a red light or speeding were more likely to commit aggressive acts while driving.
Recognizing and correcting the problem
Despite the widespread acknowledgment of aggressive driving tactics, many people admitted that aggressive driving is a larger problem today than it was three years ago. Additionally, nine out of ten individuals believe that aggressive drivers are a threat to their own personal safety. Ways to prevent a bad traffic experience from escalating include:
- Avoid these behaviors – Don’t take action that will cause another driver to have to suddenly brake, change lanes or change speeds.
- Keep it in perspective – Traffic issues are usually slight offenses and should not be used to deal with other stress-related actions of the day.
- Forgive and forget – If another driver makes a mistake, try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
- Avoid escalating behavior – Avoid eye contact, do not make inappropriate gestures and maintain the space around your vehicle.
- Don’t confront the other driver – Protect yourself by not engaging in any physical altercation. You never know what the other driver will do.
- Report it – If you feel that you are in danger, call 911.
If someone’s road rage results in your injury, contact a Murfreesboro personal injury attorney at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley Attorneys at Law for help. They handle personal injury and criminal defense matters and can be reached at their Murfreesboro office at (615) 893-1331 or online today.