The Dangers of Aggressive Driving in New Hampshire
The term road rage was coined 30 years ago by a Los Angeles television station, but aggressive, angry behavior by drivers has been around in some form since the invention of the automobile.
Road rage is widespread. According to a 2016 poll conducted by AAA, nearly 80 percent of drivers have reported experiencing aggression behind the wheel at one point or another, and eight million have taken it a step further, purposely hitting another vehicle or confronting other drivers.
Other related statistics:
- Fifty-three percent of drivers consider speeding normal, especially at rush hour. For the other 47 percent, this is seen as aggressive behavior.
- Ninety-four percent of collisions are due to human error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). About a third of those can be linked to aggressive driving or road rage, including speeding, tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, and other illegal maneuvers.
- Being the victim of such bad habits or driver errors, angered or anxious drivers might find themselves responding in kind. Half of the drivers surveyed admitted to resorting to horn-honking, light-flashing, rude gestures, shouting and aggressive driving after another driver had done something similar to them.
- Aggression occasionally goes further, to even bumping. About two percent of drivers admit to attempting to run another driver off the road.
According to the NHTSA, fatal road rage accidents rose from 302 in 2012 to 465 in 2016. Additionally, road rage incidents involving guns more than doubled from 2014 to 2016.
Washington Post surveys on driver rage reported "uncontrollable anger toward another driver on the road" doubled, from 6 percent to 12 percent, since 2013.
Some ways to combat road rage:
- Adjust the expectations for your commute. If you find yourself angry at unexpected traffic delays, consider waking 15 minutes earlier to allow for extra drive time.
- Think about how you react.
- Focus on your own driving. Let other people be and do your thing.
- Get help. If you struggle with road rage, chances are you struggle with controlling your anger in other areas of life as well. Listings of mental health care providers and support groups in your area are offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
If you've been injured in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, contact Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, in Dover, NH.