Does Road Rage Cause a Lot of Car Accidents?

woman driving car

Road rage is the common term used to describe aggressive driving. Becoming excessively angry while operating a vehicle can be dangerous and detrimental to the driver and those around them. It may surprise you to know that aggressive driving is one of the most common causes of road accidents. If you or someone you know was the victim of road rage, contact a skilled San Mateo County, California car accident lawyer for legal representation and advice.

Is Road Rage Common in Drivers?

Road rage is becoming increasingly common. Statistics show that aggressive driving is the cause of over 56% of fatal car crashes. Mental disorders, intoxication, anger management issues, and general impatience can all be causes of aggressive driving. Honking at someone who cut you off or yelling at them through your car window may seem harmless, but anger builds. It can get out of control quickly and result in serious property damage, injury, and death.

What Are Some Examples of Road Rage?

Road rage can take many forms, and every driver is different. However, it usually manifests in erratic, unpredictable, and reckless behavior from the driver. Some examples of actions that aggressive drivers may take include the following.

  • Brake checking
  • Tailgating
  • Erratically turning or changing lanes
  • Use of rude hand gestures
  • Cutting off other cars
  • Excessive honking of the horn
  • Flashing high beams
  • Getting out of the car to confront another driver

How Can I Deal With an Aggressive Driver?

If you are driving and witness an excessively aggressive driver it can be annoying and result in you beginning to experience road rage yourself. However, it cannot be emphasized enough how dangerous aggressive drivers can be. You need to de-escalate and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. The best thing you can do is distance yourself from the car by slowing down, pulling over and waiting for them to pass, or taking an alternative route.

Do not engage with or provoke the other driver. It is impossible to know the driver’s mental state or if they are armed. Studies showed that in 2021 almost two-thirds of road rage encounters involving a gun resulted in serious injury or death. If you are attempting to de-escalate the situation but the other driver is continuing to cut you off or follow you, drive to a nearby police station.

If you are experiencing road rage it is important that you calm yourself down. Driving with an excessive amount of adrenaline and anger can have fatal repercussions. You may lose control of yourself or your vehicle and end up causing an accident. If possible, pull over and take deep breaths. Play music or a podcast that can help your mental state and wait for your rage to pass before getting back on the road.

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