Aggressive Driving And Road Rage Pose Significant Danger To Others
Aggressive driving has become increasingly common among drivers. Many people admitted in a recent survey to showing anger behind the wheel.
The term “road rage” began a couple of decades ago to describe the dangerous type of driving usually seen in congested metropolitan areas like Southern California or New York City. However, over the past few years, it seems that road rage has come to encompass the common driving behaviors of a growing number of people. Road rage and aggressive driving threaten numerous motorists on the roads in West Virginia and elsewhere every day.
People may not encounter an aggressive driver every time they are on the roads, but the problem is significant. According to the American Safety Council, about 66 percent of fatal car accidents involved some type of aggressive driving, whether it was speeding, following another car too closely or another dangerous action. Over a period encompassing seven years, 12,610 injuries and 218 murders were reported to have been caused by road rage.
AAA study highlights problem
In a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 80 percent of drivers polled said that during the past year they had demonstrated anger behind the wheel at least once. According to NBC News, men are more likely to drive aggressively than women, although the problem is by no means limited to gender. Additionally, about half of those who were the targets of aggressive driving retaliated with some form of aggression themselves.
Is there a difference between aggressive driving and full-blown road rage? Aggression behind the wheel is generally considered a traffic offense, although aggressive driving actions have the potential to be deadly. In addition to speeding and tailgating, as mentioned above, aggressive driving can also include weaving from lane to lane, shouting at other drivers, displaying angry gestures and cutting people off.
On the other hand, road rage involves a deliberate attempt to hurt someone else. An angry driver might use a firearm or object in the car to threaten another driver, or use his or her vehicle to strike the other car or force it off the road. Some drivers engaging in road rage pursue another person in an attempt to get into a physical altercation. Road rage is considered a criminal offense, since the angry driver is attempting to physically assault the person he or she is upset with.
Authorities advise drivers to avoid escalating a road rage situation by not reacting to an angry driver’s provocation. Instead, driving to a police station or well-lit parking lot may help the targets of road rage avoid being injured in crashes. It is also wise not to drive home if pursued by an angry driver, as well as not to speed and drive recklessly in order to escape. Calling 911 for law enforcement assistance may be an effective move.
It can be terrifying to be targeted by an angry and aggressive driver. Those who are injured in accidents caused by others may wish to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Huntington.