Driving can be stressful and frustrating, especially factoring in traffic, construction, and other drivers. Any number of triggers can cause anger in a driver, leading to road rage or other aggressive behavior. In fact, a staggering 82% of drivers in the United States admit to having road rage or driving aggressively at least once in the past year, according to a survey conducted at the end of last year.
Aggressive Driving vs Road Rage?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property. Aggressive driving might lead to a traffic ticket and includes actions such as:
- Weaving through traffic
- Running stop signs or lights
- Failing to yield right of way, especially when merging
Road rage is defined by NHTSA as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.” Because road rage usually involves the intention to cause harm to another person, it can often lead to criminal charges. Examples of road rage include:
- Menacing gestures or yelling
- Honking excessively
- Throwing objects
- Forcing another driver off the road
- Sudden intentional braking in front of another vehicle
- Getting out of a vehicle with the intent to injure another driver
Both aggressive driving and road rage are incredibly dangerous, especially because the situation can easily escalate. In fact, over half of the drivers on the receiving end of aggressive behavior admit to responding with aggressive behavior themselves.
Contributing Factors to Road Rage and Aggressive Driving
Because of the size and weight of vehicles, the speed at which they travel, and how quickly an accident can occur, car accidents caused by road rage are extremely dangerous. Road rage and aggressive driving contribute to 66% of traffic fatalities.
The causes of road rage range can include any number of things, including stress, distracted driving, or the use of cell phones. Below are two of the most commonly cited causes of road rage and aggressive driving:
Roadway congestion is one of the most frequently mentioned causes of road rage. High traffic volumes, construction, or an accident can all lead to increased traffic, which in turn leads to more frustrated drivers on the roads. Those with a low tolerance for traffic may follow too closely, weave through lanes, or become angry at those impeding their progress – all of which can lead to an accident.
From driving to and from work to picking up kids from school or after school events to running errands, drivers are often rushing from one place to the next. In the hurry to reach a destination on time, drivers can develop a pattern of aggressive driving and become easily frustrated when they are delayed. That frustration might lead to running lights or stop signs or speeding at dangerous levels.
Corpus Christi Road Rage Lawyers
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident caused by road rage, find out how Corpus Christi car accident lawyer John Flood can help today. We offer free consultations over the phone or Zoom meetings. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options.