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Aggressive Driving and Road Rage: Can it Be Avoided?

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, including:

  • 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.