Countless car accidents happen every single day, leaving a trail of injuries, totaled vehicles, and financial loss in their wake. A shocking number of these accidents are the direct cause of aggressive drivers. Drivers who let their emotions control what goes on behind the wheel are a serious threat to everyone else on the road. Learn more about the clear and obvious links between aggressive driving and car crashes, and when you’re ready to discuss your crash in greater detail, call The Stein Firm, P.C. at 770-824-3107.
Defining Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving is a vague term, and that’s intentional. That allows researchers, law enforcement, and legislators to apply this term to a wide range of dangerous and emotion-fueled driving behaviors.
A number of statistics outline the causes and outcomes of aggressive driving—one source states that the most common act of aggressive driving is angry horn honking. Other aggressive behaviors include making rude hand gestures to other drivers, tailgating, cutting off other drivers, yelling at other drivers, and actually getting involved in physical fights. Per the III, common forms of aggressive driving include:
- Erratic lane changes
- Driving on the shoulder, in the ditch, or in other places not intended for cars
- Passing where it’s illegal to do so
- Ignoring traffic signs and lights
How common is this problem? More common than you think. Nearly 20% of drivers report feeling intense aggression at some point while driving in the past year. 5.5% of respondents report having these feelings weekly, and nearly 3% feel intense aggression every single time they drive. These are the people you’re sharing the road with, which means it is crucial to take precautions and keep yourself safe.
Evidence Linking Aggressive Driving to Collisions
It’s no real secret that aggressive driving is dangerous; nearly half of the people believe that road rage is as dangerous as distracted driving, and even more think it’s as risky as drunk driving. Speeding is one of the most common forms of aggressive driving, and it is consistently linked with one-third of all fatal vehicle accidents. The NHTSA reports that speeding killed over 11,000 people in 2020.
2006 saw just 80 fatal accidents caused by road rage. By 2015, that number jumped 500% to 467. This type of reckless driving has led to thousands of injuries over the years and caused thousands of preventable accidents.
The danger doesn’t stop there. Yes, there’s danger in sharing the road with aggressive drivers who seem to think that being behind the wheel gives them a shield of anonymity. But what’s even scarier is that many drivers aren’t afraid to take their confrontations off of the road. Aggressive driving has been linked to at least 30 murders in the last decade, due to on-road frustrations turning into face-to-face confrontations.
AAA notes that over 80% of people admit to engaging in some sort of aggressive driving behaviors. While you cannot change how carefully or recklessly other people drive, you can change how you respond to it. It’s important to recognize that people who cut you off, refuse to let you merge, swerve in and out of traffic, or otherwise inconvenience you are not doing so to offend you personally. They are likely in a rush and simply being selfish about how they drive. While these actions put you in danger, responding in anger puts you in even more danger.
If you are the target of another driver’s aggression, you must take steps to de-escalate the confrontation. Avoid making eye contact with them, and if they pull up next to you to interact with you, drop back. If a driver appears to be following you or attempting to goad you into a response, drive to a nearby police station or fire department instead of going home. You want them off of your tail as soon as possible.
Were You Hurt by an Aggressive Driver? Call The Stein Firm, P.C. Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in an aggressive driving accident, don’t wait any longer to seek fair compensation. Call The Stein Firm at 770-824-3107 or reach out online to set up a consultation with our Atlanta car accident attorneys.