About two-thirds of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving according to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). It’s safe to say that anyone who drives in the greater Seattle/Tacoma area has encountered aggressive drivers and/or has been an aggressive driver. The statistics on road rage speak for themselves, it’s something that all of us need to be aware of and take care to keep ourselves calm on the road.
Road Rage and Aggressive Driving Statistics
· Aggressive driving causes 66% of traffic fatalities.
· Males under 19 are most likely to be aggressive drivers and engage in road rage.
· 37% of aggressive driving incidents involve a gun.
· Over seven years there have been 218 murders and 12,610 injuries that have been attributed to road rage.
· Half of drivers who are on the receiving end of aggressive behavior on the road such as a rude gesture in turn respond with aggressive behavior.
The NHTSA defines road rage as when a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.” The line between road rage and aggressive driving is that road rage is a criminal act while aggressive driving is a traffic offense.
Stay Cool and Calm on the Road
Regardless of fault in the situation, if you find that you’re dealing with another driver that has become agitated, DO NOT react. Any reaction will only make the situation worse. Remember that the other driver is probably having a bad day. Do not make eye contact with the driver and continue to drive safely and follow the rules of the road. It’s often our knee-jerk reaction to feel that they need to learn a lesson, but remember that nothing is as important as getting home safe.
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