New study shows road rage is behind half of all fatal accidents

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2014 | Articles, Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A new study has found that road rage is prevalent in the U.S. and responsible for half of all fatal accidents.

Road rage is a common problem on roads and highways, but measuring the extent of that problem has long been difficult. Recently, however, the AAA Foundation released the results of a study looking into how extensive road rage is and what sort of damage it is causing in terms of overall traffic safety. According to KSAT 12 News, the report found that not only is road rage far more prevalent than previously thought, but that road rage and aggressive driving are behind about half of all fatal traffic accidents in the country.

Road rage survey

The AAA Foundation’s study surveyed drivers across the country and found that 80 percent of them had engaged in behaviors that could be categorized as “road rage” within the last year. Such behaviors include tailgating, cutting off other drivers, blocking other vehicles, making obscene or threatening gestures, or honking aggressively.

The survey also found that a quarter of all drivers admit to intentionally blocking another car from passing and 12 percent of drivers admit to deliberately cutting off another vehicle. According to NBC News, men are three times more likely to engage in aggressive driving behaviors than women are, with young men being at especially high risk of engaging in such dangerous behaviors.

How dangerous is road rage?

Road rage is more than just an irritating experience; it is also downright deadly. The AAA also estimates that 56 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in the United States are caused by some form of aggressive driving. Aggressive behaviors like tailgating and cutting off other vehicles are inherently dangerous, but road rage causes further problems since it can distract drivers from paying attention to other hazards around them that may arise.

Safety experts say that while aggressive drivers can be aggravating, the best approach is not to encourage their aggressive behavior. Instead of engaging with the aggressive driver, motorists should remain focused on their own driving and avoid making eye contact with the aggressive motorist. If an aggressive driver is becoming especially dangerous, such as trying to run another driver off the road or tailgating somebody, then police suggest calling 911 and, instead of driving home, heading for a police station, fire station, or anywhere else where help may be available.

Car accident attorneys

Aggressive and reckless drivers are more than just a nuisance on Texas’ roads and highways. In many cases, these drivers put the lives of other road users at risk. As the above study shows, aggressive driving often leads to accidents, which can cause injury and death. Anybody who has been hurt in an accident, especially one that may have been caused by a reckless or negligent driver, should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. A qualified and experienced attorney can help accident victims in a number of ways, including by informing them of their legal options and fighting on their behalf for whatever compensation they may deserve.