angry driver

Most if not all drivers can honestly say that they have been guilty of aggressive driving at one point or another. Road rage is a detrimental form of aggressive driving and can result in serious injury or death. If you need legal assistance related to road rage, contact a Rockland County auto accident lawyer for help.

What is Road Rage?

Road rage is a feeling of visceral anger, resulting in aggressive and reckless driving. Operating a motor vehicle that weighs several tons is dangerous on its own, but when you add an excessive amount of anger and adrenaline it can maximize the potential of an accident. Getting irritated if someone cuts you off or is driving under the speed limit is normal, but becoming enraged to the point of recklessness is where it becomes a problem. Road rage shows itself in many different ways, including:

  • Tailgating
  • Brake checking
  • Excessive speeding
  • Weaving in and out of lanes
  • Driving erratically
  • Flashing their headlights
  • Honking their horn excessively
  • Yelling or cursing
  • Rude gestures toward other drivers
  • Getting out of the car to confront or attack another driver

Any of these actions could result in an accident causing extensive property damage, serious injury, or even death.

Is Road Rage Common?

It may surprise some to hear just how common road rage has become. Surveys have relayed that 92% of people witnessed some form of aggressive driving in 2023. Everyday driving is becoming increasingly dangerous with people’s lack of patience and growing anger. Statistics show that 56% of fatal car crashes result from road rage. Aggressive driving has become an all too common danger in the United States, and cars aren’t the only weapons involved. In 2021 an average of 44 people were shot per month during road rage shootings.

How Can I De-escalate an Aggressive Driver?

It is important to remove yourself from the situation if you are dealing with an aggressive driver. Keep your windows rolled up and doors locked. Do not follow too closely or provoke them in any way. You never know what someone’s mental state is or if they have a weapon. Slow down, change lanes, or pull over to let them pass, and put as much distance between yourself and them as you can. Take the next exit or an alternate route if necessary, and if you are being followed drive to a nearby police station or a populated area. No petty fight on the road is worth risking your safety.

If you find yourself becoming angry while driving it is important to try to release the anger before it builds into road rage. Remove yourself from the situation by pulling over or slowing down. Take deep breaths and play soothing music. It is easier than you might think to lose control, so be cautious and wait for your anger to subside before getting back on the road. People running late is one of the leading causes of road rage, so give yourself as much time as possible to reach your destination.