At Obral, Silk & Pal, we have over 100 years of combined personal injury experience representing victims of automobile collisions. A number of different factors can cause and contribute to these car accidents including distracted or drunk driving and poor weather conditions. One specific cause, however, deserves particular attention as it is becoming an increasingly more common cause of accidents as well as something most of us have encountered: road rage.
Not only can road rage lead to severe injuries, but it can also be deadly. In fact, over the course of the past 10 years, road rage deaths have increased an astounding 500 percent. A study by AAA estimates road rage leads to thousands of car crash-related injuries each year. Specifically, of the 10,000 road rage incidents AAA studied over the course of a seven-year period, over 12,610 injuries and 218 murders (yes, murders) resulted.
Encountering an angry and/or aggressive driver on the road may be more likely than you anticipate. In fact, eight (8) out of every 10 drivers admit to driving angrily and/or aggressively at least once a month. Such behaviors can include tailgating, speeding, honking, aggressively changing lanes, rude gestures, yelling or cursing at another driver, getting out of one’s car to confront another driver, and illegally passing another motorist.
Not only is it negligent to drive aggressively on the road, but it is also a crime. In the State of Ohio, aggressive driving is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine. Sadly, legal repercussions do little to deter this dangerous and potentially life-threatening behavior. As such, it’s important for drivers to be prepared for how to deal with potential rage on the road.
When it comes to protecting yourself, driving defensively can be of great help. Doing so can help you spot and avoid potentially dangerous drivers and situations. If you encounter an aggressive driver–especially one who is tailgating you–do your best to avoid being the victim of their road rage by pulling aside and letting them pass. If a situation begins to escalate, attempt to diffuse the situation by either ignoring the other driver or apologizing (if you were at fault). Whatever you do, do NOT get out of your car to confront another driver. This is extremely dangerous and can even be a deadly decision on your part.
While it’s important to learn how to safely respond to the aggressive driving habits of another driver, it’s also important for drivers to reflect on their own driving and ask whether they, too, could potentially be contributing to the situation. If road rage has become a regular occurrence on your daily commute, perhaps it could be attributed to aspects of your own driving. Please ensure you: allow yourself adequate time to get to your destination so you don’t feel rushed, are not driving distracted so that you can appropriately watch the road, and follow the rules of the road.
Road rage is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injuries and even death. If you or someone you know has been injured by an angry driver and his or her aggressive driving habits, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Obral, Silk & Pal today for your FREE consultation. We will help you explore your legal options.
Injuries change lives…so do we.