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The Dangers of Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

Posted on Jun 1, 2020 in Personal Injury, Traffic

Everyone gets frustrated while driving sometimes, but aggressive driving endangers everyone on the road. It is important to keep your emotions in check and respect other drivers when behind the wheel. Did you know that aggressive driving accounts for as much as four times the amount of deaths as drunk driving in the US? In fact, 66% of traffic accident fatalities are contributed to aggressive driving. Learn more about how to spot and prevent road rage below.

Signs of aggressive driving

Aggressive driving can take many forms, some less obvious than others. For example, did you know that not using a turn signal can be considered aggressive driving? More behaviors of aggressive drivers:
  • Driving over the speed limit
  • Tailgating
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Speeding up to beat red lights
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Flashing your headlights
  • Making rude or obscene gestures towards other drivers
  • Yelling at other drivers
  • Honking frequently or repeatedly
  • Failing to check for other drivers before merging or changing lanes
Distracted driving is also a form of aggressive driving. Using your phone while driving, looking at something other than the road, putting on makeup—these are just a few examples of distracted driving. Distracted driving does not consider the well-being of other drivers on the road and puts them in danger by your actions. Therefore, it can be considered aggressive driving, in the same way that cutting someone off or tailgating can.

What’s the difference between aggressive driving and road rage?

Road rage and aggressive driving are often used synonymously. However, though they can often feed each other and run hand-in-hand, the law makes a distinction. Road rage is a more heightened or extreme version of aggressive driving. Road rage involves violence or the threat of violence. A person experiencing road rage may brandish a weapon against another driver, or attempt to follow and confront them. Alternatively, they may attempt to use their vehicle as a weapon, such as by trying to run another driver off the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes a legal distinction between aggressive driving and road rage. Road rage is a criminal offense, while aggressive driving is a ticketable traffic offense.

Tips for curbing aggressive driving

Let’s be honest, driving can be a frustrating endeavor sometimes! All kinds of factors, from what’s going on in our personal lives, to traffic, can affect our mood while driving. In bigger cities, like New Orleans, heavy traffic and more drivers make driving increasingly challenging. If you find yourself becoming frustrated, don’t let it affect your driving. Use the tips below:
  • Take deep breaths. Regulating your breathing calms your heart rate and clears your mind. If you feel yourself getting worked up, focus on your breathing. Relax your body and your mind will follow.
  • Remember that other drivers on the road are people just like you! It’s easy to forget, when you’re in the solitude of your own car, that other drivers have families and lives just like you. Maybe they’re also running late, or tired after the work day and can’t wait to get home. Empathy can go a long way towards making the road safer for everyone.
  • Do not retaliate to other drivers. Many road rage situations are chain reactions. One driver acts aggressively towards another, and the latter responds. The two go back and forth with increasing aggression, escalating the situation. Don’t let that happen. If someone does something you don’t like on the roadway, practice patience. Don’t let it become a dangerous situation for you and others on the road.

Aggressive Driving Leads to Accidents

Traffic accidents claim the lives of thousands of people every year and injure countless others. Many of these accidents are the result of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is a form of negligence or wrongdoing on the roadway. If a person injures another through aggressive driving, the injured party is protected by the law. The driver would be responsible for compensating the injured party for their injuries and damages.

Bloom Legal Protects Drivers In Louisiana

If you have received a traffic ticket or been involved in an accident, Bloom Legal can help. We are a full-service law firm located in downtown New Orleans. We handle car accident cases, injury claims, traffic tickets and more. Contact us today for a free case consultation!

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