Road rage is defined as aggressive or angry behavior by the driver of an automobile or other type of vehicle such as a motorcycle.
Aggressive behaviors can include rude gestures, verbal insults and deliberately driving in a threatening or unsafe manner. However, it can also include forms of reckless driving like speeding and cutting off another driver.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 1990 and 1997 approximately 13,000 people were injured or killed in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver. Some statistics indicate that as many as 1,500 people are killed or injured in road rage accidents each year. In some instances, road rage can lead to altercations.
In 2011, David Leger was involved in a Baton Rouge auto accident that led to the death of five people. Leger was convicted in 2010 of vehicular homicide after it was revealed that he had been involved in a road rage incident and lost control of his car just moments before the accident.
Although there are no statistics on Louisiana road rage accidents, other reckless driving habits like tailgating, speeding and improper passing led to more than 27,000 auto accidents in Louisiana in 2013.
The car accident attorneys at Simien & Simien advise drivers to adhere to the following tips to avoid being involved in a road rage accident.
- Listen to soothing music while you’re driving as it can alter your mood
- Allow yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be, don’t have unreasonable expectations for how long it will take to get somewhere as it could cause you to get angry when you unexpectedly hit traffic
- Avoid driving when you’re stressed or already angry
- Try using public transportation to escape the stress of being on the road, especially during rush hour traffic
If you find that another driver is behaving aggressively, do not challenge them or make crude gestures in their direction. If possible, avoid being in the way of these drivers altogether as the simplest actions could set them off.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a reckless driver, you may be entitled to file a claim for damages.