Road Rage Increases the Risk of Auto Accidents

August 15, 2017 — by Mark T. Flickinger, JD
Tags: Auto Accidents

A man after an auto accidentWe spend long stretches of our day on the road, whether it's commuting or getting away from a weekend. Many people we share the road with are attentive and responsible, yet that are some motorists who are poor drivers, and even dangerous ones. These sorts of drivers can greatly increase the risk of auto accidents.

The lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton have helped countless clients in the Salt Lake City area with their auto accident cases. The lawyers have noticed that many of these accidents were not the result of a mistake per se, but rather road rage. Let's note the dangers of road rage below.

Road Rage Defined

Road rage refers to various kinds of aggressive behaviors linked to the anger of a driver. These kinds of reckless behaviors might be the driver's response to other motorists or may occur simply because the driver chooses to be aggressive. There are instances in which road rage goes beyond the driver's seat, with motorists getting out of vehicles are stop lights to confront one another.

Whatever the case may be, these behaviors are unacceptable and put countless lives at risk.

Road Rage Statistics

According to estimates from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), up to 94 percent of all auto collisions are the fault of driver error. Of that percentage, approximately 33 percent of these crashes are due to reckless or aggressive behaviors. These behaviors are commonly associated with road rage.

When someone is angry, that person tends to exhibit poor decision-making and reasoning skills. While driving, they may appear to act rashly and irrationally. This can injure others, and reckless driving can also cause the aggressive driver and his/or passengers harm in the process.

Examples of Reckless and Aggressive Driving

Some examples of reckless driving behaviors include the following:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Constant lane changes
  • Refusal to use turn signals
  • Cutting off others on the road
  • Passing vehicles illegally
  • Failure to observe the right of way
  • Disregarding traffic signs/signals
  • Honking at other motorists for no reason
  • Flashing high beams at other vehicles for no reason

Many aggressive drivers engage in varying combinations of the behaviors listed above. As you can imagine, this can greatly increase the risk of a catastrophic or even fatal collision occurring.

What to Do About Aggressive Drivers

If you notice an aggressive driver while you are on the road, be sure to avoid engaging with the driver or egging the driver on. It's best that you continue to observe the rules of the road and to avoid the driver entirely if possible. Do not try to race or antagonize the driver, as this may prompt more aggressive behaviors.

When you can do so safely, be sure to report the make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle to authorities. Being attentive in this way can potentially save lives.

Avoid Confrontations at Traffic Stops

If you come to a stop on city streets or while exiting a highway and an aggressive driver gets out of their vehicle to confront you, do your best to remain calm. Roll up your windows and lock your doors, and do your best to avoid eye contact. Again, your goal is to avoid a confrontation and, when you can do so safely, report the driver and their vehicle to authorities.

Contact the Lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton

To learn ore about your legal rights and options, be sure to contact our team of accident attorneys today. Our lawyers fight for the rights of people throughout Utah, and believe in providing expert legal representation.