Given the number of things that can easily go wrong when there’s traffic, driving is already a hazardous activity – but the danger can be exponentially worse when you’re sharing the road with an aggressive or angry driver.
You probably know the type: It’s the driver who leans into their horn at every opportunity, gestures wildly at other drivers over every perceived mistake, darts in and out of the lanes in an effort to get around every other driver and relentlessly tailgates.
Unfortunately, road rage incidents are going up. According to a study by AAA, almost 80% of drivers admit that they’ve “expressed aggression” while driving at least once in the last 30 days.
What causes people to behave this way?
Everybody knows that aggressive driving and road rage can lead to tragic accidents, so why do drivers keep behaving that way? There’s a lot of speculation, but some of the reasons may be:
- Objectification: Essentially, this means that some drivers stop seeing other drivers as actual people once they’re behind the wheel. There’s a mental disconnect that allows them to treat the vehicles in their path as just “cars,” not “cars with people inside” and that makes them more inclined to behave as if those cars don’t really matter.
- Frustration: It’s been a frustrating few years, and a lot of people are stressed about the economy, their jobs, the housing crisis, health issues, politics and climate change. All it takes is a little bit of additional frustration when driving to tip them over the edge.
- Lateness: People are constantly rushing from one thing to the next, and someone who is late for an appointment or to pick their kids up from school may end up furiously tailgating other drivers in a subconscious effort to hurry traffic along.
- Entitlement: Some people just enjoy being able to showcase their driving skills and they’re proud of the fact that they’re unafraid to push the limits – which often translates into speeding and other reckless behaviors.
Regardless of the reason for their behavior, a wreck caused by an aggressive driver or an incident of road rage can leave you shaken and seriously injured. If that happens to you or your loved one, find out what it takes to hold the other driver financially accountable for your losses.