Drivers today face the very real concern of road rage and it is a big cause of many motor vehicle accidents. Car accident attorneys handle many cases every year where the cause of injury accidents is road rage or intentional aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is dangerous to everyone driving on the roadways. According to injury lawyers, drivers must understand what causes aggressive driving in order to stop road rage from causing car accidents.
What Is Road Rage?
Aggressive driving is a significant cause of car accidents. It is defined as driving erratically, driving 15 mph or more over the speed limit, running red lights, and any other action where a driver fails to obey traffic signs and laws. Road rage takes aggressive driving one step further; it involves intentional acts of aggression or other erratic behavior while driving. As an intentional act threatening harm, road rage is even classified as a criminal act by law. In a study, AAA has linked this type of behavior to 218 murders and over 12,000 injuries. (1) Aggressive driving was found to be a factor in over 56 percent of fatal crashes in an additional AAA report. (2)
Why Does Road Rage Happen?
Research has shown that road rage occurs for a variety of reasons. One of the main attributing factors is increased road congestion and high traffic volume. Based on actual car accident accounts as well as other reports of aggressive driving behavior, drivers who cut off other drivers, fail to yield the right-of-way, do not use turn signals, and commit other types of erratic behavior are major factors in road rage incidents. Rage becomes a factor when drivers overreact to such mistakes and act intentionally against careless drivers. Dangerous driving mistakes are serious; however, those who operate vehicles and allow their temper to control their intentional acts of aggression make the situation even more dangerous.
How Can Road Rage Be Prevented?
Car accident attorneys advise that some actual explanations given by drivers who have caused rage-induced car accidents include: not being allowed to pass; tailgating; or even just a dirty look from another driver. These reasons point to the startling trend that more drivers now believe that reacting, rather than avoiding, is an acceptable response to other driver's mistakes.
Drivers must do two main things to prevent road rage accidents: pay attention to their own driving and keep their tempers under control when confronted with another driver's poor driving behavior. It is essential that drivers follow all rules of the road and avoid erratic behavior such as sudden lane changes, cutting people off, speeding, and other similar actions. Such driving behavior could cause accidents or make other drivers feel a need to retaliate. Injury lawyers suggest that the best way to stay safe and avoid aggressive reactions includes avoiding eye contact with or gesturing to the other driver.
Both car accident attorneys and safe driving advocates agree that drivers can work to prevent road rage incidents. Essential practices that can stop road rage-induced car accidents include following all rules of the road and being conscientious of other drivers. Don't give another driver a reason to be upset with your driving - and don't get upset if that behavior happens to you. Stay calm and safe on the roads!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
(1) - AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety - Road Rage: How To Avoid Aggressive Driving, 2013
(2) - AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety - Aggressive Driving: Research Update, 2009