Anger is both an emotional and physiological response. When angry, adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones placing it into Fight or Flight mode. Heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration increase as the body and mind prepare for violence, and this violence, when informed by anger, can be incredibly focused and directed. When we are angry, we are not thinking clearly. When we are not thinking clearly, we can engage in behaviors that are dangerous or even fatal to ourselves and others.
The American Safety Council reports that 66% of all traffic fatalities are caused by violent and aggressive driving. In fact, over a seven-year study, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were reported in motor vehicle accidents caused by road rage. An alarming 37% of those involved firearms while 2% involved drivers physically forcing another vehicle off of the road. Frighting indeed, but these undeniably violent behaviors are not the only face of road rage.
What Does Road Rage Look Like?
Aggressive driving can present as any loss of control expressed by a driver. This includes yelling, rude gestures, angry hand waving, or other ways of expressing anger. Road rage may also include:
- Erratic lane changes
- Tailgating or following too close
- Driving faster than the flow of traffic
- Passing where prohibited
- Failing to signal your intent
- Laying on the horn
- Throwing objects
- Getting out of a car for a confrontation
Anger makes rational thought and action much more difficult. When a driver is angry, everyone on the road is at risk.
If you are injured or a loved one is killed by someone engaging in road rage, you have every right to hold that person accountable for all related damages. The car accident lawyers at Brown & Brown can help. Call today for a free consultation and learn more.
Aggressive Driving vs. Road Rage
According to the NHTSA, road rage occurs when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” This means that there is a difference between aggressive driving and road rage.
Aggressive driving is a traffic offense. It may include behaviors that are thoughtless, but not those that have crossed into endangerment or harm. Road rage is a criminal offense that involves assault. Because of this, there may be criminal proceedings, fines and penalties, and even jail time associated with a conviction. These are separate from and unrelated to civil proceedings that seek compensation for victims of aggressive drivers. The outcome of a criminal trial has no bearing on personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.
Brown & Brown Can Help
If you have been injured because someone else could not control themselves while they were driving, you are entitled to compensation for all of your damages. This may include medical expenses, wages lost during recovery, property damage, and any emotional or physical suffering you have and may continue to endure following your experience. The car accident lawyers at Brown & Brown can help.
Call our St. Louis office at 314-333-3333 or our Illinois office at 618-888-8888 to schedule your free consultation right away. We help victims of aggressive drivers throughout the greater St. Louis area get justice.