It only makes sense that as traffic becomes worse, so too do drivers’ tempers. The rising population directly impacts road use, which is seen as an increasing volume of cars on the roads. There are 253 million passenger vehicles and trucks on the road, according to the LA Times. Not only do more cars mean more traffic and congestion, millions of drivers regularly use cell phones behind the wheel. In many states, texting is illegal, though seldom enforced. However, texting and internet use is only part of the problem. Simply talking on a cell phone, even if it is not a hand held, increases reaction time and increases a driver’s chances of crashing by 1.3 times, according to a study done by Monash University.
While cell phones are estimated to cause at least 26% of collisions, according to the National Safety Council, a further 66% of all fatal accidents are caused by aggressive drivers, according to Safe Motorist, meaning that not only are people driving while distracted, they are also driving overly aggressive. Not only are crashes a problem created by aggressive drivers, violence can also stem from fist fights or even firearms. In fact, firearms are involved in 37% of aggressive driving incidents. While men under the age of 19 are the most likely demographic to engage in aggressive driving, over half of drivers admit to retaliating in an aggressive manner when honked at or tailgated. Additionally, 2% of drivers admitted that they have attempted to run someone off the road.
Remain Calm and Avoid Making Eye Contact
The first step to take when another person is expressing incredibly dangerous and aggressive driving behavior is to attempt to remain calm and avoid honking, flipping them off, retaliating in any other way, or even making eye contact, as all of these actions may only escalate the situation. When we are threatened, including road rage situations, our bodies automatically go into fight or flight mode. Blood is diverted away from the brain and into the extremities, which is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to think or speak clearly when you are under high levels of stress. To remedy this, take five very slow, deep breathes. It sounds cheesy, but it is actually proven to work by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which suppresses the stress hormones and fight or flight response. By calming down, you can remember that escalating the situation by getting even is never worth it, and getting home safely is always the goal of any drive. Driving is dangerous enough as it is without adding aggressiveness into the mix. If you or a family member have been injured in an auto collision due to another driver’s aggressive, careless, or otherwise negligent actions, you may be able to collect compensation from that party to help pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage. Contact an experienced car accident attorney today to discuss your legal options for compensation.
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