If you had to guess how many of your fellow drivers could actually find themselves angry enough to bump or ram your vehicle, what would you say? A new survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates nearly 3% of the thousands surveyed have bumped or rammed another vehicle in the past year. A fair number of those people even admitted doing it more than once last year!
Okay, you might say…2.8% isn’t a huge number. The surveyed group may not be representative of Americans in general. But what if it is? There are 214 million licensed drivers in the United States. 2.8% of that number is 5,992,00. That means there are potentially six million people who are willing to actually bump your vehicle with theirs if they are upset or frustrated. And while this was the most extreme behavior the AAA survey reviewed, there were other highly concerning aggressive driving behavior that were much more common among respondents:
- Cutting off another vehicle on purpose—11.9%
- Intentionally preventing another driver from changing lanes—24.1%
- Making angry gestures at another driver—32.5%
- Tailgating another vehicle—50.8%
Problematically, but perhaps not surprisingly, research has shown aggressive driving to play a role in up to 2/3 of all car accidents. We know that rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident, and it’s no wonder with all the drivers who are willing to tailgate and block others on the roads. Of course, the dangers don’t stop there. Tens of thousands of families each year lose a loved one in a vehicle accident. Many, many more live but face a lifetime of challenge due to traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis, or an amputation of a limb. The idea that many of these accidents, injuries, and losses are a result of unreasonable and conscious decisions by other drivers is infuriating and unacceptable.
The National Safety Council has estimated the average comprehensive cost of accidents, including medical expenses, wage loss, vehicle damage, and other economic costs, as well as costs for the lost quality of life.
- Comprehensive cost of a death: $4,100,000
- Comprehensive cost of an incapacitating injury: $208,500
- Comprehensive cost of a non-incapacitating evident injury: $53,200
Without a doubt, these numbers show the catastrophic impact of car accidents in general. Many car accidents are true accidents and while still often involve wrongdoing or negligence by one driver, they do not include malice or intent. Road rage and aggressive driving behaviors, unfortunately, do often include malice or intent—if not to actually hurt or harm physically, then to inflict fear of that harm on another.
All of us at The Lee Steinberg Law Firm encourage drivers to drive safely and in a way that respects the lives around you. If you find yourself uncontrollably angry on the roads, it is advisable to pull off and take a moment to calm yourself. Your life and the lives of others may depend upon your decision. If you or someone you love has been a victim of another’s road rage and uncontrolled aggressive driving, you and your family deserve justice. Call our experienced Michigan auto accident attorneys today at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a no-cost, risk-free consultation.