You’re on the road. A driver is aggressive. How do you react? According to researchers, probably badly, at least sometimes.
In my law office, I see more and more accidents because of road rage. A study from The Zebra shows what I have been seeing — get ready for it — 82% of people admit to committing an act of road rage in the past year.
Do you realize how large that is? 8 out of every 10 people you encounter on the road are willing to cut you off, give you a middle finger salute, or hit your bumper with theirs. That is about everyone except, perhaps, your elderly aunt, who only drives to teach Sunday school. And that is just perhaps!
You may have noticed the increase in road rage incidents and the accidents they cause. Here are some facts:
- 50% of drivers respond to aggressive drivers with some form of retaliation. (American Psychology Association)
- A firearm is reported in 37% of aggressive driving incidents. (AutoVantage Club)
- Aggressive driving played a role in 56% of fatal crashes from 2003 through 2007 (Insurance Information Institute)
- In the past 10 years, road rage reports have jumped 500%. (CNN)
The real problem is escalating the situation. Professional police negotiators offer this advice: calm the situation down and/or get yourself out of there. Road rage drivers rarely do either.
Some forms of escalation are horn honking, shouting, light flashing, or rude gestures. And it can get more dangerous with tailgating, short braking, speeding past a vehicle, or forcing a car off the road.
Reprimanding other drivers may sound innocent, almost fun, but I tell you that road rage turns serious and hurts people in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. I see it firsthand.
Need another reason to stay calm? Some insurance companies are putting in road rage clauses. If you are in violation, your insurance will not pay for any damages. So, that long honk could really cost you.
Join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We are taking a fall break and will offer 5-minute segments for the rest of the year and a live call-in segment every Monday on NBC 15 at around lunchtime. You can also call our office. We specifically set aside a few hours Monday morning to answer your questions.
Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer