Get the Facts on Road Rage
January 20th, 2020|
Being a safe driver requires full concentration on the task at hand and a calm mindset. Unfortunately, not all drivers stay focused and calm behind the wheel. Whether it’s because they’re running late or because they believe another driver slighted them in some way, some motorists fall prey to road rage.
Road rage is a serious and growing problem on roadways throughout America, including Indiana and Illinois. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the number of road rage-related fatal traffic accidents grew from 80 in 2006 to 467 in 2015—an increase of nearly 500 percent. Rising stress levels and increasing traffic are partly responsible for this epidemic, but it’s also up to drivers to control their emotions when they’re behind the wheel.
These 5 Signs Could Be Indicative of Road Rage
When you’re driving and notice a vehicle moving erratically, you may simply change lanes or move out of the way without giving it much thought. But there’s a good chance the driver behind the wheel is experiencing road rage. People can develop road rage for a variety of reasons, and when they do, they often display the following behaviors:
- Speeding—Because road rage is often due to drivers being late or feeling like they’re being slowed down by traffic or other motorists, speeding is a common symptom of the condition. Exceeding the speed limit is a significant reason why road rage is so dangerous, as speeding is a top cause of crashes.
- Tailgating—Following other vehicles too closely often goes hand-in-hand with speeding for drivers experiencing road rage. It’s especially common in heavy traffic or when drivers think they’ve been cut off on the road. If you get tailgated by another driver, use your turn signal and change lanes as soon as you can safely do so.
- Honking—People with road rage want to vent and take out their frustration with traffic conditions on the people around them. Unfortunately, their car horns are an easy way to make sure everyone within several blocks can hear just how impatient and angry they are.
- Staring or gesturing—Road rage can boil over to the point where people may desire direct confrontation with others. They may try to incite other drivers by staring at them through their windows or by making obscene gestures at them. If another driver tries to rile you up, ignore them and keep looking at the road ahead.
- Ramming—In rare cases, road rage-afflicted drivers may even ram their vehicles into other cars, trucks, and SUVs. Intentional collisions are extremely dangerous, and drivers may even become violent outside their vehicles. If a road raged driver crashes into you, stay inside your vehicle, lock your doors, and call 911.
Stay Calm Behind the Wheel with These Tips
Even if you’re not the type of person to ever develop full-blown road rage, it’s still important to be aware of your aggression levels when you’re driving. Becoming angry, frustrated, or even impatient can cause you to take unnecessary and dangerous risks behind the wheel, which can put you, your passengers, and other drivers in danger.
Keep the following tips in mind to improve your mindset the next time you drive:
- Leave home with plenty of time to spare—One of the most common causes of road rage is feeling like you’re going to be late and encountering further delays. Traffic jams can go from mild annoyances to anger-inducing events. But leaving home with plenty of time to spare means hiccups along the way are much easier to handle.
- Get your rest—Sleep-deprived and exhausted drivers are more likely to cause crashes due to the effects that fatigue has on judgment and reaction times. But it can also increase the likelihood of experiencing road rage and aggression, as sleep deprivation reduces patience and tolerance of frustration.
- Listen to calming music—Bad news, speed metal fans. Up-tempo music with a high beats per minute count may amp you up too much, increasing your heartrate, tension levels, and even make you more susceptible to road rage.
Get Experienced Legal Representation After a Road Rage Accident
When drivers let their emotions get the better of them to the point that it results in injury-causing accidents, they should be held liable for any damages that occur. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we don’t waste any time getting compensation for victims who were injured by speeding, distracted, or impaired drivers, and the same is true for those who were hurt by road rage-afflicted drivers.
Your injuries may require expensive medical treatments, and you may be too hurt to go back to work. Let our team of Indiana and Illinois auto accident lawyers build a strong claim on your behalf. It’s our goal to get you every penny you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.