The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines road rage as “the operation of a vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” The NHTSA has outlined legal differences between road rage and aggressive driving. Examples of aggressive driving include yelling or using inappropriate gestures to the extremes of tailgating and speeding. Road rage is more severe as it often involves a violent intent to physically harm another driver using their car, physical fighting, or a weapon to threaten or inflict harm. Unfortunately, the growing problem of road rage continues to plague America’s roadways, causing nearly 56% of all deadly car accidents (SOURCE).
According to the NHTSA, impatience due to increased traffic congestion is the number one factor contributing to aggressive driving. Unfortunately, this impatience commonly turns into road rage, where a driver snaps and loses control. Long commutes, increased vehicle numbers on the road, and construction delays have led to heightened stress and irritability among drivers. If you are driving and notice another driver displaying aggressive behaviors, it is crucial that you do not engage, placing yourself or others in danger. Steer clear and call the police.
Risk Factors contributing to road rage include age, time of day (5:00-7:00 pm), type of car, and day of the week or month (Thursday-Friday, and summer months). A survey completed by AAA revealed that younger male and female drivers tend to be more aggressive than their older counterparts. The NHTSA reported that several similar aggressive behaviors surface again and again in road rage fatal accidents, including:
- Following too close
- Erratic lane changing
- Passing where prohibited
- Use of cell phones or other electronics (#roadrage posts on social media are higher during peak rush hour traffic times)
- Failure to signal
The lasting effects of road rage are all preventable, and as a driver, it is essential to create a culture of patience, empathy, and responsible driving. Yet, road rage exists everywhere and often causes serious injury, harm, or a tragic loss of life. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to aggressive driving behaviors or road rage, contact the Law Offices of Reginald Keith Davis for your confidential consultation. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact now @ (913) 299-8789.