What is Road Rage?

Written by: Injured 914

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, road rage “is an angry, hostile state which can increase into violent, criminal actions, or attempts of violent actions, that result from the operation of a motor vehicle.  Road rage can include behavior to provoke others or to make them fearful. Aggressive driving is not road rage. However, aggressive driving can become road rage.  Aggressive driving generally involves the violation of a traffic safety law, while road rage involves the breaking of a criminal law.”

What are Common Road Rage Behaviors?

Common forms of road rage are tailgating, yelling, honking in anger, making angry gestures, blocking another vehicle from changing lanes, cutting off another vehicle, physically exiting the vehicle to confront another driver or bumping another vehicle on purpose. 

A Close Call Here in New York 

Last month an incident of road rage on the Palisades Parkway was captured on a dashcam.  It documented a battle between a Honda Accord and a Ford F150 truck.  After many dangerous maneuvers by both vehicles, the Honda flipped over several times before stopping. Amazingly, no one was injured in this incident.

What to Do in a Road Rage Situation

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 56% of fatal motor vehicle accidents involved an enraged driver. Should you be confronted with an overly aggressive driver, it is recommended that you stay away by safely changing lanes, gradually slowing down or even exiting the highway.  

Avoid the temptation to respond to an enraged driver. You do not want the situation to escalate.  Do not stop. This could lead to a personal confrontation. If you can, get the vehicle information such as the license plate, make and model of the vehicle. 

Hazardous driving behaviors stemming from road rage lead to deadly car accidents every year.  It is important to know how to identify these behaviors in order to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of a road rage car accident.

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