Key Points of This Article:
- Rage-filled driving behaviors could be caused by factors entirely unrelated to traffic conditions, such as when a person may be facing a crisis related to their personal life, or when driving distracted or impaired.
- Aggressive driving statistics shared by NHTSA show that 50% of victims of aggressive driving behavior will respond to drivers experiencing rage in the same way.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines road rage as a “combination of moving violations that endanger the safety of other persons or their property.” Additionally, eight in 10 drivers experience road rage, and men are more prone to road rage than women.
Understanding Why People Become Malicious Behind the Wheel
In the U.S., two out of three traffic fatalities occur due to aggressive driving. Aggressive driving behaviors may involve malicious persons out to hurt or harm others physically or inflict fear and control on the road. Rage-like driving behavior is often caused by factors entirely unrelated to traffic conditions, such as a personal crisis related to family, job, or mental wellness. It can also be triggered by distracted driving or drunk driving. However, some drivers may feel frustrated and act out of rage when they are cut off, unable to change lanes, or get stuck behind a slow-moving driver or in congested construction zones. These driving behaviors may cause a motorist to become angry and impulsive towards others.
Road rage or dangerous aggressive driving situations frequently start with:
- blasting a vehicle’s horn
- shouting or lude behavior towards other drivers
- weaving in and out of lanes
- tailgating or even bumping stopped vehicles
- failing to yield
- cutting off other vehicles
- illegal passing of other vehicles
- disregard for traffic signals, road signage, and red-light running
- using a car or truck’s lights to display frustration
- driving erratically
Road rage incidents nearly always end with serious injuries to many, including innocent pedestrians or others sharing the road. For the victims who survive, many remain to be challenged for a lifetime due to traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis, post-traumatic stress, and ongoing financial struggles to cover medical costs.
3 Ways to Avoid Aggressive Driving Behaviors
Unfortunately, not all Michigan’s drivers are courteous or practice safe driving behaviors. Some drivers clog up roadways and cause major personal injuries to others with their accident-prone driving decisions like speeding, violating traffic sign laws, driving while distracted, impaired or with aggressive anger. If you start to notice that you are feeling frustrated while operating a motor vehicle, follow this guidance to adjust your driving behavior.
- Recognize: Identify the signs that indicate when you are starting to get angry or feel frustrated while driving. Consider pulling over to the side of the road and taking a break, or letting a passenger take a turn driving.
- Stay Focused: Use other outlets to calm yourself down. Consider taking a less congested route or planning stops before taking a long drive. Avoid talking on the phone while driving or distracting yourself from your safe driving responsibilities.
- Be Courteous: It’s easy to assume another driver is trying to be rude or personally attacking you, but, in all reality, the other driver may have made an honest mistake. Don’t react in a way that may be aggressive or trigger additional road safety issues.
If you find yourself sharing the road with a motorist who is making risky decisions that could trigger a road rage incident, it is important to do your best at avoiding any interaction. Back away from the rage-filled car or truck by changing lanes to create space. Do not respond to the aggressive driver’s gestures, shouts or other behaviors. If you feel threatened or in danger, dial 911 immediately and provide your location and a description of the vehicle.
Have You Been Injured in a Road Rage Accident in Michigan?
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. has helped families all over Michigan obtain millions in personal injury and wrongful death benefits. Please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733), so we can answer your questions. The call is free, the consultation is free, and we don’t charge anything until we win your case.