Have you ever let your frustrations get the best of you while behind the wheel? Maybe you were running late for an appointment and found yourself behind a car going well under the posted speed limit. Irritated at the driver’s sluggish pace, you honked your horn to encourage him or her to pick up the pace. If so, you are not alone. Aggressive driving behaviors are not uncommon among American drivers. In fact, a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (“AAA Foundation”) found that close to 8 out of 10 American drivers admitted to expressing anger, aggression or rage in the past year. Aggressive driving has become such a problem that over half of all drivers report that they feel that their personal safety is at risk when they are on the road. Unfortunately, Americans do have reason to be fearful as aggressive driving is on the rise and is linked to close to 60 percent of all fatal crashes.
What is considered to be aggressive driving?
Aggressive driving, according to the National Highway Safety Administration, is the behavior of a motorist that commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons and property. Examples of common aggressive driving behaviors, include:
- Tailgating or following too closely behind the car in front of you
- Changing lanes frequently as to weave in and out of lanes
- Passing another driver and then abruptly slowing down
- Failing to signal when changing lanes
- Attempting to block other cars from passing or changing lanes
- Running red lights
- Speeding in heavy traffic
- Inconsiderate or negligent behaviors like making rude gestures and blowing the horn repeatedly
What is road rage and how is it different from aggressive driving?
Road rage occurs when aggressive driving becomes out of control. The AAA Foundation defines road rage as any unsafe driving maneuver performed intentionally and with the purpose or disregard for safety. Road rage behaviors include the following:
- Intentionally hitting, bumping or banging into another vehicle
- Running a car off of the roadway
- Getting into a physical altercation with another motorist or their passenger
- Shooting at another car or its driver
- Verbally assaulting or threatening another motorist
- Throwing objects at another car
Who are most often guilty of road rage?
Studies have shown that males between the ages of 19 and 39 are the most aggressive and angry motorists on the roadways. However, while young men may initiate the highest number of road rage incidents, they are not the only ones. All groups, including women and older adults, have had incidents of road rage.
What is the solution
The cure to road rage is specific to the individual. Once a person can recognize his or her own controlling and aggressive thoughts, then he or she can take steps to prevent acting on these feelings. Some studies have shown that compassion classes could also help reduce aggressive driving behaviors.
If you were seriously injured after being involved in an auto accident with an aggressive driver, it is imperative that you contact a skilled Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible. Road rage cases can be difficult to prove, and only an experienced Injury Attorney can make sure you receive the compensation you are due. The Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center are compassionate advocates who understand the devastating impact a serious car crash can have on a victim and his or her family. Trust our team of aggressive advocates to do everything possible to fight for your rights. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our seasoned injury attorneys, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924.