Aggressive driving and road rage are two problems that make driving even more dangerous than normal. According to a study conducted by AAA, 80% of drivers see aggressive driving as a “serious” or “extremely serious” danger. With seemingly everyone in a hurry to keep up with their busy schedules, aggressive driving and road rage have become more widespread in recent years. Many drivers may not even be aware they are driving aggressively or experiencing road rage. Fortunately, awareness of the problem coupled with a few common sense adjustments can go a long way to reduce the numbers of aggressive and angry drivers on Georgia’s roads.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines an aggressive driver as “an individual who commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Some of the behaviors that characterize aggressive driving, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), include the following: following too closely, improper or erratic lane changing, failure to yield, passing in prohibited areas, failure to signal, racing, driving too fast for the conditions, and speeding. Most or all of these behaviors would also apply to a negligent or reckless driver. Aggressive driving will generally be seen as violating the duty of care a driver owes to other drivers. Any accident that results from this type of behavior will likely result in the aggressive driver being held liable for any injuries or property damage.
Road rage may lead to aggressive driving, but the two are not exactly the same. Road rage usually manifests itself as rude and angry gestures directed at other drivers, using the car’s horn excessively, flashing lights at other cars, and yelling at other drivers. Although these behaviors may seem rude but not particularly dangerous on their own, they can easily cause impaired judgment and lead to aggressive driving. In addition, gestures associated with road rage may cause similar feelings in drivers who are on the receiving end, leading to more and more aggressive and angry drivers.
A few things can go a long way to make aggressive driving and road rage less prevalent. A large amount of stress on the roads is caused by the need to arrive at one’s destination on time. Anything that causes a delay may be seen as a personal affront, leading to anger and possibly causing a driver to become aggressive. Drivers should do their best to give themselves extra time when driving, and always keep in mind that it is more important to arrive at their destination safely than on time. If you notice another vehicle driving erratically or aggressively, it is best to stay as far away from it as possible. Finally, drivers should try not to take perceived slights, such as being cut off or not being allowed to merge, personally.
Unfortunately, many accidents will continue to be caused by aggressive driving and road rage. If you are injured in a collision, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. At Murphy & Garner, LLC, we have over 32 years of experience serving clients in western Georgia and the surrounding area. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at (866) 942-0552 or (678) 563-1584.