The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) makes a clear distinction between road rage—purposely endangering another driver or committing assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon upon the driver or passengers of another motor vehicle—and aggressive driving.
Avoid Road Rage
Road rage is a criminal act; aggressive driving is a traffic offense. But there is an obvious link, too.
Aggressive driving may escalate into an act of road rage by the aggressive driver. An aggressive driver may also spark road rage by another driver. Aggressive actions include speeding, trying to beat red lights, tailgating, changing lanes quickly and often, making obscene gestures, blocking, or cutting off other drivers, and frequently laying on the horn, among others.
An inconsiderate driver—for instance, one who doesn’t use turn signals, drives well under the speed limit, talks on their cell phone while driving, accelerates unevenly, etc.—may also trigger an instance of road rage by another driver. (It doesn’t justify road rage, but general awareness and proper driving habits can help avoid some of it.)
The NHTSA offers the following eye-opening statistics:
• Roughly 66 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.
• Approximately 37 percent of aggressive-driving incidents involve a firearm.
• Half of drivers on the receiving end of an aggressive behavior return the favor.
• Two percent of drivers in a survey admitted to trying to run an aggressor off the road.
As difficult as it may be, do not react to someone you’ve agitated on the road (whether it was your fault or not). Avoid eye contact with the aggressive driver and follow the rules of the road.
Contact an Alaska Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer
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