Aggressive driving and road rage are some of the most common problems to
be found on the road today, and they only seem to be getting worse. Over
90% of Americans are driving to work everyday in some sort of commute,
and one out of every three drivers in America’s largest cities will
spend over 40 hours this year stuck in traffic jams. If you have been
injured by an aggressive driver or the victim of road rage, contact Goldstein
& Hayes, P.C. today.
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.’ Most people would
probably not define themselves as aggressive drivers, however there are
many regular driving activities that actually qualify as aggressive driving,
Driving with high beams on 100% of the time
Using a cell phone while driving
Switching lanes without signaling
Flashing headlights at slow drivers
Speeding up to attempt to beat red lights
Failing to check blind spots when changing lanes
The term road rage
was first used by a local Los Angeles news station after a string of shootings occurred
on several highways in the city. The NHTSA has since adopted a formal
definition for it, defining road rage as when a driver ‘commits
moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an
assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator
or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another
motor vehicle.’ While the terms ‘aggressive driving’
and ‘road rage’ are often used interchangeably, the NHTSA
has made a distinction between the two. Aggressive driving involves a
mere traffic offense, whereas road rage is a criminal charge.
The NHTSA estimates that 66% of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive
driving, and over 1,500 people are killed or injured in road rage incidents
each year. In addition to this, half of drivers who are on the receiving
end of aggressive driving behavior, such as horn honking, rude gestures,
or tailgating admit to responding to it with aggressive behavior themselves.
It is very easy to become agitated by another driver’s aggression
or road rage toward you and want to respond to it. It is important to
remember that this simply creates a more dangerous situation for you and
others on the road. If you find that you have angered or agitated another
driver, whether you were at fault or not, it is important to not overreact
or retaliate to the other driver on the road, as this will only further
escalate the situation. While it is impossible to control how other drivers
operate their vehicles on the road, one of the best ways to avoid road
rage-related incidents is to operate your vehicle safely and within the
traffic laws and attempt to not give in to feelings of anger or rage on
the road, which will simply escalate any situations and put you in more danger.
Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the road rage of another
driver, the experienced attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.. are
here to help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.