Road Rage Is More Common Than You Think
According to the American Safety Council, 66% of traffic fatalities are because of aggressive driving. Of these aggressive driving incidents, 37% involved a firearm, and for over seven years, 218 murders have happened because of road rage.
Road rage can be as harmless as screaming or making rude gestures, but it can quickly escalate to something more harmful such as a car accident or even physical violence. Case in point is the 218 murders that have happened solely because of overflowing feelings while driving.
Definition of Road Rage
Did you know that the term “road rage” was coined by a local news station called KTLA in Los Angeles? It came at a time when there were a series of shootings on several freeways across the city.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration aggressive driving happens when a driver operates a motor vehicle in a way that will endanger or is likely to put in danger persons or property. They further distinguished aggressive driving as a traffic violation while road rage is a criminal offense.
Some of the most common forms of road rage include:
- Running another motorist off the road
- Aggressive driving
- Hitting the car of the other motorists using their own vehicle
- Making obscene gestures
- Confrontation with other motorists
- Harming another driver or a car using a weapon
The following examples of road rage are considered illegal driving actions, but they are still, nevertheless, manifestations of road rage:
- Insistent honking
- Cutting off other motorists
- Blocking other vehicles
- Flashing headlights to distract other drivers
While some think that they are justified when they engage in road rage, it has been proven that this type of behavior can actually increase the tension and aggression among nearby motorists.
What Causes Road Rage?
Road rage is more common than you think. In fact, without realizing it, you may be manifesting road rage. Answer the following questions honestly to confirm:
- If you are in a hurry, do you regularly drive over the speed limit and “beat” the red lights?
- If another driver is going slowly in front of you, do you flash your headlights or tailgate him/her?
- Are you the type to honk your horn often?
- Have you ever used foul language or made obscene gestures to a fellow driver?
Did you answer yes to at least one of the questions above? If so, you may be prone to road rage. Most of the time, road rage is caused by stress from other areas of life. Add to this a congested traffic situation then you are setting an environment for road rage.
The Best Strategy Is To Avoid Road Rage
The good news about road rage is that one can handle it appropriately. In case you find yourself in a situation where you have aggravated another driver, avoid reacting in the same negative way. Regardless if it’s your fault or not, remind yourself that the other driver might be experiencing stress in other facets of his/her life.
Remember that retaliating will not stop the situation from escalating; it can only worsen it. You can also do some of the following tips:
- Give way and let the aggressive driver pass and move out of your way.
- If the driver is being openly hostile and trying to provoke you, do not retaliate. Avoid making eye contact.
- Keep calm and think about the other vehicles near you. It’s not just the two of you on the road.
- Don’t honk your horn unless it’s a life-threatening situation.
- Become the bigger person and do not make any gestures that will trigger the aggressive driver.
- Always remain calm on the road. Remember that you are all just trying to get to your won destinations.
If you feel unsafe and you think that the aggressive driver is pursuing you, call the police immediately. Do not attempt to get out of your vehicle and confront the other driver.
Contact The Clark Law Office for Road Rage Injuries
In the unfortunate event that you sustained injuries because of road rage, it is important that you get in touch with expert lawyers who will make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
The Clark Law Office is one of the most successful trial law firms in Michigan for the past 30 years. Call them at your earliest convenience at (517) 347-6900 for a free case evaluation. You won’t have to pay anything unless we win your personal injury case.