Many New York motorists have experienced frustration or even anger toward others when behind the wheel. This can lead to aggressive driving. When aggressive driving shifts into road rage, the driver is deliberately trying to harm another individual or damage property. This rage can be deadly.
Dangers of road rage
Uncontrolled anger while behind the wheel can lead to a continuum of dangerous behavior, from shouting at other drivers, tailgating or flashing headlights at them to trying to sideswipe other vehicles or force them off the road. Even if these behaviors do not directly lead to injury, they can escalate the situation. Over a period of seven years, more than 200 murders were attributed to road rage. In 2021, there were an average of 44 road-rage related shootings each month.
However, drivers do not have to behave in ways that are this extreme to be a danger. Such behaviors as speeding and passing illegally are among those that are most likely to lead to deadly motor vehicle accidents. One of the top reasons that people drive aggressively is simply because they are running late.
Statistics show that younger male drivers are the group most likely to engage in aggressive and road rage behaviors. However, according to a study by AAA Traffic Safety, nearly four in five drivers admitted to having felt anger or rage while on the road and to driving aggressively.
Driving can be stressful, but it is important for drivers to work on de-escalating angry interactions and avoid engaging with them whenever possible. Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, staying patient and practicing courtesy even when other drivers do not can go a long way toward reducing the likelihood of injuries and fatalities resulting from road rage.