Road Rage on the Rise
Throughout the country, public awareness and concern over aggressive drivers and road rage is growing. Some studies indicate that a growing number of people are actually more fearful of aggressive drivers than drunk drivers. Aggressive driving is truly dangerous and is part of the "zero tolerance" legislation under consideration in several states to increase penalties for aggressive drivers.
A road rage incident might start with flashing high-beams, aggressive tailgating, or shaking fists. This may then lead to a high-speed chase that ends either in a collision or someone pulling a trigger.
Often the incident that triggered the emotional outburst may have been something quite trivial. For example, some incidents are clearly intentional acts, such as when a driver moves from lane to lane in an effort to go around other vehicles. But other times, changing lanes may be unintentionally sudden, such as when a driver is about to miss an exit and makes an abrupt lane change without a proper turn signal.
This is a fairly common occurrence and would not ordinarily be expected to trigger road rage. But, keep in mind that a 3,000-pound vehicle in the hands of a hostile driver is a lethal weapon.
Why do you think road rage occurs? Here are factors that may contribute to road rage:
- Crowded roads which create tension, impatience, and more opportunity for drivers to interact
- Immaturity, poor attitude
- The anonymous nature of driving which empowers some people because nobody knows who they are
- Racial disrespect or prejudice