One would be hard pressed to watch the news for more than a day or two without seeing a story about road rage. It is a huge problem across the entire country. Indeed, nearly 50% of drivers admit to at least yelling at another motorist, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In their research, AAA has found that about 80% of drivers have driven aggressively within the prior 30 days, which means that most Americans have experienced aggressive driving, possibly, daily. But, it is these frustrations that begin with words that can quickly escalate to a road rage news story.
The next escalation
That same study found that over 50% of these same motorists escalated the yelling to deliberate tailgating. And, 25% escalated beyond that by blocking the other driver from changing lanes. Another 12% cut the other car off as a result.
What happens next?
Of course, further provocative actions beget further provocative actions. This is why about 3% of drivers in the same AAA study admitted to ramming or bumping another vehicle, and another 4% escalated to a confrontation, exiting their vehicle.
In another AAA study, they found that nearly 60% of fatal car accidents were, at least partially, to blame on aggressive driving. This includes the behaviors cited above: tailgating, cutting off other vehicles, etc. According to the American Psychological Association, angry drivers have twice as many accidents in their lifetimes than their calmer driver counterparts.
What can we learn from these studies?
For our Southaven, Mississippi, Memphis area, and those throughout northern Mississippi, there is a lot we can learn from these studies. First and foremost, calm down. When someone is driving aggressively, do not engage. It can save one’s life. Another, key takeaway is mood regulation. If we find ourselves getting angry easily behind the wheel, it may be a good idea to find a Zen way to drive or even try therapy. These types of emotional outburst cause accidents. Though, if we are the victim of one of these aggressive drivers, remember, a personal injury lawsuit is always an option.