Road rage refers to a driver’s intense anger, typically sparked by another’s provoking behavior and manifested through aggressive or violent actions. In recent years, road rage incidents have hit record highs throughout the United States. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), experiencing aggressive driving has become all too common, with approximately 80 percent of motorists reporting at least one incident within the past month.
Aggressive driving frequently escalates into all-out road rage, such as forcing other vehicles off the road, brake checking, or even ramming into others. It typically involves intimidation and attempts to damage cars or injure other drivers. Unfortunately, road rage accidents result in much more devastating injuries due to aggressiveness, high speeds, and violent impacts than other collisions. Over 30 victims’ lives are senselessly taken in road rage-related incidents yearly.
Why Do Drivers Experience Road Rage
Human evolution has given us the fight-or-flight response. This stress response is triggered by a rapid release of hormones that cause the sympathetic nervous system to stimulate the adrenal glands. In other words, the human brain is acutely wired for things that can provoke us into fear, anger, and survival. Consequently, when drivers feel provoked, they might respond in extreme ways that seem irrational to others on the road. While we have all gotten upset at one point or another, some people are more prone to getting very angry, and it does not take much to set them off. For example, someone tailgating or cutting in front of a driver with a low threshold for anger could be enough to cause sudden rage.
How To Respond If You Are Being Targeted
If an angry motorist aggressively pursues you, resist the urge to engage under any circumstances. The last thing you want to do is respond to their hostility. Additionally, it is essential not to make eye contact and avoid making gestures. If you vent your frustration, the situation will likely continue to escalate. Staying calm and keeping a safe distance can minimize your risks.
Move out of the raging driver’s way if you are on a highway or road with multiple lanes. You should call the police if the angry driver continues following you. Please do not take any chances; involve the authorities immediately. You could also turn off the road to get away but avoid pulling over.
If you pull over, in all likelihood, the other driver will pull over, too. Most raging drivers want other vehicles to pull over so that they can confront the other driver. If you find a furious driver approaching your vehicle, lock the doors and call 911. Never get out of your car to confront their aggression.
We trust that our recommendations will safeguard you should you encounter an aggressive driver. Rest assured, we’re only a call or text away should the unforeseen occur. At The Dietrich Law Firm P.C., our seasoned road rage car accident attorneys are committed to securing the justice you rightfully deserve. Please reach out to us today for a complimentary, no-obligation case assessment at 716-839-3939.