June 8, 2021

How Does Road Rage Cause Car Crashes?

At one time or another, most of us have experienced frustration while behind the wheel of an automobile. However, when drivers allow their frustrations to lead to aggressive driving and road rage, they jeopardize the safety of themselves and everyone with whom they share the road.

Aggressive drivers increase the risk for traffic wrecks and severe injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a road rage accident, you deserve to know your rights. The knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Studinski Law, LLC have years of proven experience representing accident victims throughout Wisconsin. We can explain your rights and help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.

What Is Road Rage?

The term “road rage” is used to describe an angry, hostile state which can lead a driver to commit, or attempt to commit, a violent criminal action, or to drive or behave recklessly and without regard for the safety of others. Road rage can include behavior that is meant to make others fearful or to provoke them. This can include assault with a motor vehicle or another dangerous weapon by the driver or passenger of one vehicle against the driver or passengers of another vehicle.

Aggressive driving and road rage have a clear legal distinction: Aggressive driving is a traffic offense and road rage is a criminal charge. Although aggressive driving is not road rage, it can quickly escalate to that level.

How Does Road Rage Affect Your Driving?

Research indicates that being in a state of rage affects your blood pressure and ability to reason and make decisions. This means that a driver who is enraged will likely make more mistakes and increase his or her risk of getting into a traffic wreck.

Many drivers do not realize when their road rage is impairing their ability to drive safely. Proper training can help drivers recognize when they are driving aggressively and then take conscious steps to deescalate the situation.

Wisconsin offers various traffic safety courses for drivers who need to improve their driving skills. Drivers who enroll in these courses are typically referred to them because of certain violations or demerit points. 

Wisconsin’s Traffic Safety School programs offer instruction in defensive driving and safe driving techniques. Curriculums can vary depending on the individual school, but they usually include teaching drivers how to deal with and avoid aggressive driving and road rage.

Examples of Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

Road rage can take many forms. One study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that approximately 80 percent of drivers expressed significant aggression, anger, or road rage while operating a vehicle at least once in the past year.

Some of the most common examples of aggressive driving and road rage include:

  • Making rude gestures
  • Honking in anger
  • Yelling
  • Tailgating
  • Blocking another vehicle from changing lanes
  • Intentionally cutting off another driver
  • Intentionally bumping or ramming another vehicle
  • Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver

What Are the Most Common Causes of Road Rage?

Road rage can occur for a number of reasons. Some of the most common factors that contribute to aggressive driving and road rage include:

  • Delays in traffic: Heavy traffic, waiting at stoplights, waiting for pedestrians, and even looking for a parking space can raise a driver’s anger level.
  • Running late: Drivers can become particularly impatient when they are running behind schedule.
  • Anonymity: When drivers believe they will never see the other driver again, they are more likely to engage in risky behavior such as rude gestures, excessive honking, cutting people off, or tailgating.
  • Disregard for the law and others’ safety: When enraged, some drivers focus only on the object of their anger and disregard the consequences of their actions.
  • Habitual or learned behavior: Aggressive driving is simply the norm for some drivers.

What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Caused by Aggressive Driving?

The NHTSA and Auto Vantage auto club compiled the following statistics to illustrate the dangers of aggressive driving and road rage:

  • Aggressive driving is responsible for 66 percent of all traffic fatalities.
  • Over a seven-year period, 12,610 injuries and 218 murders were attributed to road rage 
  • Firearms are involved in 37 percent of road rage incidents.
  • The drivers who are most likely to exhibit road rage are males under the age of 19.

Call a Car Accident Attorney In Wisconsin Today

If you’ve been injured in a road rage accident caused by an aggressive driver, contact a car accident lawyer at Studinski Law, LLC right away. Car accidents are one of our primary practice areas. We understand the complexities of these difficult cases and we know what evidence is needed to demonstrate the reckless, negligent behavior of the aggressive driver.

See our results.

Contact Studinski Law, LLC today at (715) 343-2850 to discuss your case for free. Our car accident lawyers serve Plover, Marshfield and other areas throughout Wisconsin.

Jason Studinski Injury Attorney
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