While a significant number of people continue to think that motor vehicle collisions are caused by distracted or impaired drivers, studies are starting to show that the causes far exceed those boundaries. In fact, one driving activity – road rage – which had previously simply been considered threatening is more dangerous than historically thought.
Being involved in a road rage incident can be a nightmare scenario for many drivers. From violent, demonstrative body language to threatening vehicular maneuvers, an aggressive driver can wreak havoc on his or her target. Unfortunately, driving in this sort of emotional rage can lead to serious, even deadly, motor vehicle collisions.
Here are four statistics it might be worth your life to remember:
- Nearly 1 in 3 collisions involve road rage: According to crash data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly a third of all motor vehicle collisions can be linked to road rage behaviors such as speeding, unsafe lane changes, tailgating and other illegal maneuvers.
- Half of all drivers react to aggression with aggression: It is the quintessential “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Unfortunately, when confronted with an aggressive driver around them, half the road rage targets respond with aggressive driving tactics. These drivers might commonly react with horn honking, light flashing, rude gestures or shouting. You have likely seen two cars on a highway chasing each other with unsafe lane changes, speeding and overall reckless driving habits.
- More than half of all drivers think speeding is normal: Unfortunately, this can be a causation of the earlier point, but 53% of surveyed drivers consider driving 10 mph over the speed limit to be perfectly normal. This might be part of the reason why aggressive reactions are so commonplace.
- Two-thirds of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving habits: Even with the increasing complexity of driver warning systems and advanced driver assistance programs, 66% of those killed in traffic collisions have lost their lives due to aggressive driving.
While it might be difficult to do, ignoring a road rage incident is likely the best course of action. Attempting to respond with aggression can only escalate the situation and likely lead to a motor vehicle collision. A crash can result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities.