Road Rage - Risk and Caution

Written by Carly Hallman

Aggressive driving is defined as unsafe driving behavior in which an angry or impatient motorist intentionally kills, injures, or attempts to kill another person in a traffic dispute. Road rage, on the other hand, is a much more commonly used and broader term, which describes any driver’s display of aggression, from obscene gestures to roadside physical assault.

While a lot of us may experience momentary road rage, some Americans take it way too far, from driving recklessly to actually following and murdering someone. According to the AAA Foundation, there have been 218 murders and 12,610 injury cases over seven years. How can you stay out of these people’s way, and what can you do to lessen the risks of road rage in your own hometown?

Road Rage

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More Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Statistics
Here are some other road rage facts and aggressive driving statistics that you may find sobering.

  • More than half of all traffic fatalities are due to road rage.
  • Eighty percent of people believe aggressive driving is a serious threat to their safety.
  • Meanwhile, one third of people admit to being perpetrators of road rage.
  • The people who admit they have felt “uncontrollable anger toward another driver” has doubled in ten years.
  • There has been an overall rapid increase in the amount of deadly accidents caused by road rage. In 2004, it was 26, and in 2013, the number that met this criteria rose to 247.

Behaviors to Avoid if You Don’t Want to Become a Victim
These are some of the most common behaviors that set off people, especially angry or aggressive drivers.

  • Driving slowly in the passing lane
  • Tailgating
  • Cutting people off
  • Illegal passing
  • Rude gesturing
  • Flashing your high beams
  • Speeding or racing

Road Rage Common Contributing Factors, According to the NHTSA
What causes road rage? There are numerous contributing factors to bad, aggressive behaviors on the road, but the NHTSA found these to be the most common causes.

  • Running late
  • Traffic delays
  • Anonymity
  • Disregard for others
  • Disregard for the law

What to Do If You’re Confronted
Here are some tips for how to deal with road rage, which may help to defuse the situation before it gets out of hand.

  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Get out of the way when you can.
  • Ignore obscene gestures.
  • Call 911 if you’re worried about your safety.

What to Do if You Have a Problem
What if you’re the one whose blood pressure skyrockets when you see someone cut you off, slip in front of you, or start racing? Take some simple calming measures to chill yourself out. If you still need help, consider anger management training as a better alternative to suffering the negative health effects to yourself as well as the danger you may be putting other drivers in.
It’s time to chill out for the greater good! Use these tips to lower your amount of road rage and make our roads safer as a result.

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