Traveling some of Fairfield County's major roads can be stressful at times. Traffic congestion on Interstate 95 or on the Merritt, confusing intersections, and inconsiderate drivers can add to that frustration. Sometimes a minor inconvenience during the daily commute can escalate into violence or aggressive behavior that can result in someone's injury, or even death.
To what extremes can road rage be taken?
For the majority of drivers, road rage incidents involve nothing more than rude gestures, yelling, obscene language, and honking. Other common behaviors that can result in a crash include tailgating and purposely applying brakes, or "brake-checking."
According to the AAA study, some drivers take road rage to the extreme:
- 24 percent of drivers admitted to blocking other drivers from changing lanes
- 12 percent admitted to cutting off other drivers on purpose
- 4 percent admitted to actually getting out of their cars to confront another driver
- 3 percent admitted to purposely crashing into another vehicle
Nonprofit media outlet The Trace also reports road rage incidents involving guns, which have risen from 247 in 2014 to 620 in 2016. Within the first half of 2017 alone, 325 incidents involving guns were reported.
How can I lower the risk of being injured in a road rage incident?
Anyone can feel the urge to engage in road rage. It doesn't always have to involve people with persistent anger challenges. When being tailgated or experiencing aggression from another driver, it may be tempting to react defensively. Reacting may only escalate the situation even more.
Here's what you can do to stay safe:
- When being tailgated: The person doing the tailgating may be running late for work or may be dealing with an emergency situation. It's best to simply pull over and let the other driver pass if you're able to.
- When receiving a rude gesture or being yelled at: In this situation, it's best to remain calm, avoid reacting and avoid making eye contact with the aggressor.
- When being confronted or followed: Some drivers simply don't know how to let a careless mistake slide. These road ragers are often dangerous and the most likely to escalate a situation to violence. If another driver exits his or her vehicle to confront you, or begins following you, it's best to keep your doors locked and contact law enforcement immediately.
If someone's aggressive behavior results in your injury, don't hesitate to take legal action. The police will likely get involved and the perpetrator may be charged with a crime, but justice shouldn't stop there. A Fairfield County car accident attorney at Vishno Law Firm will fight to recover damages accrued from your crash — including medical expenses, lost wages, and noneconomic damages.
To find out how we can help you, contact us online and schedule your free consultation.