Road Rage: The Deadly Cause of Crashes
Many of us are angrier than we were several years ago. Stress, weariness with restrictions, loneliness, irritability, frustration, increased alcohol consumption, poor anger management skills – we can blame the pandemic for changing our coping behavior.
We have read about air rage in airplanes (refusing to wear a mask, being intoxicated, striking flight attendants and pilots and we pray this will not happen when we get on a plane again.)
Road rage has been a problem a lot longer than air rage. Although road rage was formally labeled as such in the 1990s, the increase in angry drivers is leading to an increased incidence of crashes due to loss of control – of anger.
Road rage occurs when a driver experiences extreme aggression or anger intending to create or cause physical harm. This is extreme deliberate, unsafe driving that poses an immediate and significant risk to property or another person.
Many legislators have made it a criminal offense to express the severity of road rage, while aggressive driving remains a traffic violation in most areas. Road rage statistics and facts in 2021(msn.com).
Some police departments have started tracking road rage incidents. Others have set up task forces or held news conferences alerting the public about the problem. Cops Scramble to Deal With Deadly Road
Rage During Pandemic | The Pew Charitable Trusts (pewtrusts.org) “Assault with a deadly weapon” occurs when angry drivers carrying guns vent their anger. And others use their cars to ram pedestrians,
motorcycles, and cars.
What can set off this behavior? The stimulus for a rage reaction may
be the same as the way a driver expresses road rage.
- Being cut off
- Fighting for a parking space
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Being forced onto the shoulder
- Aggressive lane changes
- Running red lights
- Swearing or using a nonverbal offensive gesture
What can you do as a driver when you see this behavior?
Don’t engage by shouting or gesturing. Give the driver plenty of room
and stay out of their way. Let them go ahead of you, get around you,
and stop threatening you.
What can you do as a plaintiff attorney litigating a road rage case?
- Emphasize the need to operate a vehicle safety, regardless of
the stresses the driver experienced. No one should lose their life
over a road rage incident.
- Look for video footage. With the wide prevalence of cameras,
chances are good that there is a recording of the incident.
- Detail the damages. What were the plaintiff’s injuries? Consider
physical and psychological injuries. Post traumatic stress
disorder may prevent many people from feeling comfortable in a
Road rage is a terrifying experience. It is frightening for the person
who loses the grip of control, and terrifying for the target of the anger.
OnPoint LNCs are skilled in summarizing the medical records of
personal injury victims.
We can also help to quantify the plaintiff’s experiences with our
pain and suffering analysis reports. Let us help you with your
Kimm Ebersole, MHA, RN