While many traffic collisions are caused by honest mistakes made by a negligent driver, some accident victims suffer serious injuries or death through road rage. By definition, road rage is angry or aggressive behavior of a driver sharing the roadway with others. These behaviors might involve verbal insults, rude gestures or deliberately operating the vehicle in a threatening or unsafe manner or a threat to cause bodily injury.
Unfortunately, road rage often results in collisions, assaults and altercations that injure or kill others. Many types of aggressive driving that could be classified as “road rage” involve:
• Failing to yield the right-of-way to others
• Making an illegal pass
• Suddenly accelerating or decelerating when driving close to other motorists
• Yelling at other motorists
• Driving at an excessive speed well beyond the speed limit
• Passing another vehicle on the inside
• Total disregard of traffic signals
• Persistently honking the horn
• Cutting other motorists off
• Intentionally slamming on the vehicle’s brakes when another automobile is driving too close behind
• Weaving in and out of lanes of traffic
• Speeding through a stop sign or red light
Every one of these behaviors in Rhode island and Massachusetts is considered to be inherently dangerous to others sharing the roadway. When the rage involves two or more motorists in RI or MA driving aggressively, the results are often catastrophic.
If you were injured as a result of a RI car, motor vehicle or truck accident then contact a Rhode Island personal injury attorney. If injured in a MA motor vehicle, tractor trailer or car wreck then contact a Massachusetts Personal Injury lawyer.
Road Rage Is a Serious Problem in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
Statistics maintained by the National Safety Council indicate that more than 13,000 collisions occur each year in the United States by road rage where other drivers travel too fast for traffic conditions, adverse weather and other factors that could lead to an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving is a serious problem because:
• Two thirds of all traffic fatalities are the direct result of aggressive driving.
• More than one third of road rage incidences also involve a firearm.
• Within the last seven years, more than 200 murders and more than 12,000 injuries were directly attributed to aggressive driving and road rage.
• Male drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 are most likely to engage in road rage activities.
• More than 50 percent of all motorists who receive some type of aggressive behavior from other drivers involve rude gestures, horn honking or tailgating respond aggressively.
The Consequences of Road Rage in Mass and Providence, RI
More than half of all automobile accidents in the United States are directly caused by aggressive behavior from others behind the wheel. In many incidents, the result of aggressive driving causes serious injuries or fatalities. There are significant consequences to road rage to everyone on the road including the driver. Some of these consequences involve:
• Aggressive driving typically causes the motorist to lose full control of the vehicle.
• Aggressive driving usually makes it impossible to swerve or move out of the way to avoid a head-on or direct collision.
• Accidents caused by aggressive driving frequently happen at high speeds, creating catastrophic force.
Do You Drive Aggressively?
Many motorists in Boston and Providence are guilty of road rage even if they think their driving behavior is not aggressive. So how do you determine if you are driving aggressively? You might be guilty of road rage if you:
• Routinely drive over the posted speed limit or attempt to speed through a yellow light in an effort to avoid a red light because you are late for an appointment.
• Honk your horn often.
• Flash your high beams or tailgate another driver when you think they are driving too slow.
• Use obscene gestures or communicate in an angry tone to other motorists.
• Use your smart phone frequently when driving.
• Driving while distracted.
• Failing to check the vehicle’s blind spots before changing lanes to ensure you are not cutting another driver off.
• Keeping your vehicle’s high beams on when traffic is approaching.
To maximize safety and reduce the potential risk of being involved in a RI car accident, it is essential to avoid engaging in any type of aggressive confrontation with others. It is essential to note that any motorists exhibiting signs of road rage will likely never restrain or retreat from their antagonistic behavior. The only way to protect yourself and others in the vehicle is to allow the aggressive driver ample space to pass, stop, move over or move on.