You’re driving to your local grocer when someone zooms ahead of you just as you were about to make a right turn. Now you may want to whip out your phone and tweet angrily or give your horn a nice loud honk but think twice before giving in to road rage. Road rage is aggressive or angry behavior exhibited by drivers in order to release frustration or stress. Any actions, shouting at other drivers, rude gestures, verbal invectives and threats are all included in road rage. Not only is road rage impulsive and counterproductive, it can often lead to alterations, street fights or even collisions and is also referred to as extremely aggressive driving.
Though everyone has experienced road rage at one one point or the other, that doesn’t make it acceptable. Drivers have found themselves distracted when they fly into road rage leading to accidents, veering off the roads and altercations with others that are simply not worth your while. Road rage can be extremely dangerous and here’s why you should avoid it:
A leading cause of accidents
Road rage distracts drivers so that you end up driving unsafely. This means that accidents are more prone to happen, even if they are not accidents that cause serious injuries. According to recent information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 94% or driver errors are the main causes of accidents and among them, 33% is likely to be linked to errors made during road rage behaviors like swerving and illegal maneuvering.
Injuries can occur
A Study conducted in the 1990’s found that around 12,500 injuries caused on the road were a direct result of road rage and anger. Among these, over 200 cases included deliberate homicide committed by drivers who simply lost their temper. Each year the number of road rage accidents and death has been steadily increasing my 7%.
Yes, road rage will results in honking horns, swerving, trying to overtake others, shouting at drivers and more. But the most dangerous among all of these is when drivers actually engage in physical fights. Disturbing data from SafeMotorist.com has shown that 37% of recent traffic fatalities caused by road rage happens when driver pull out firearms and get into an argument. Road rage doesn’t simply stop on the road or in the cars, it can even lead to direct and dangerous clashes.
Victims turned to perpetrators
When you engage in road rage, you’re not only exhibiting negative behavior, but you’re influencing another driver to do the same. A poll by American Automobile Association (AAA) revealed that half of the drivers who shared road rage experiences confessed to engaging in aggressive behavior in response. By inciting more road rage and setting a negative example, you will only be the cause for even more unsafe driving and accidents. Such active engagement results in more harm. Moreover, people who experience road rage may try to get revenge on the people who treated them wrongly and such behavior escalates minor events into high-risk combative driving, which can put even more drivers in harm’s way.
Road rage is a very serious and dangerous action as it is seen as an endangerment of public safety. In legal terms road rage may be charged only as aggressive driving, without any jail time, but, if incidents escalate to vehicular homicide or intentional harm, you may be prosecuted and given a jail sentence. In some places, people engaging in road rage may even be considered as criminals.
It increases unnecessary stress
Driving itself already presents many stresses any time a person is behind the wheel due to high speeds and other drivers making different decisions. As stress increases, the likelihood of a person having road rage increases proportionately. Plus with road rage a driver faces, even more, stress levels, making them temperamental and making their driving dangerous.
So remember to have patience when you drive. There are some simple ways drivers can avoid encountering road rage like following proper traffic rules, listening to soothing music, avoiding mad motorists, etc.