Road Rage and Aggressive Driving a Serious Risk in Pennsylvania
When traffic gets congested or other drivers make careless mistakes, it's easy to get frustrated. Some drivers may switch lanes without looking or using a blinker; other drivers may tailgate or drive at a speed that seems unreasonably low. However, when drivers get impatient and let their frustration get the best of them, they often engage in road rage or aggressive driving.
Road rage is a serious issue that can lead to accidents, injuries, and deaths. It is more complex than simple honking or yelling. For some drivers, this type of behavior is habitual, and for that reason, they often fail to recognize how dangerous it really is.
Why road rage and aggressive driving is so dangerous
A 2016 AAA poll reveals frightening statistics about road rage. Around 80 percent of drivers report having experienced aggression or road rage from other road users. This includes:
- 51 percent of drivers admitted to purposely tailgating,
- 47 percent of drivers admitted to yelling at other drivers,
- 45 percent of drivers admitted to honking their horns out of annoyance,
- 33 percent of drivers admitted to making angry gestures,
- 12 percent of drivers admitted to intentionally cutting off other drivers,
- 4 percent of drivers admitted to getting out of their vehicles and engaging in physical confrontation, and
- 3 percent of drivers admitted to purposely bumping or ramming another vehicle.
Some instances of road rage can cause drivers to lash out violently, putting other road users at risk. Driversed.com reports staggering facts on how dangerous road rage and aggressive driving can be:
- 50 percent of drivers respond to road rage or aggressive driving with similar behavior that causes the situation to escalate.
- Roughly 2 percent of drivers admitted to intentionally trying to run other drivers off the road.
- Firearms are involved in about 37 percent of road rage incidents.
- Aggressive driving is responsible for about 66 percent of traffic deaths.
- About 30 murders are linked to road rage each year.
When frustration leads to human error
The violent outbursts of those engaging in road rage aren't the only danger posed on Pennsylvania roadways. When drivers are frustrated, they tend to make decisions that can result in crashes caused by human error. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that roughly 94 percent of traffic accidents nationwide are due to human error. Aggressive driving such as speeding, tailgating, cutting off another driver, or carelessly changing lanes accounts for about one third of crashes in the United States.
PennDOT offers some tips on what to do if you encounter an aggressive driver. They include:
- Getting out of their way and avoiding any kind of challenge with them,
- Staying relaxed, avoiding eye contact, and ignoring rude gestures, and
- Staying out of the passing lane if you are driving slower than the flow of traffic.
Our Pennsylvania auto accident attorneys have seen the damage road rage and aggressive driving causes to victims' lives. Those who engage in this dangerous and negligent behavior should be held accountable if their actions caused someone else's injury. If you have been hurt, contact Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C. today so we can discuss your options.