Study shows how dangerous road rage can be

From traffic jams and road construction to inattentive pedestrians and inconsiderate motorists, there's no question that driving can sometimes prove to be a harrowing, if not slightly maddening, experience.  

While many of us are able to manage our frustration and anger while behind the wheel, a recently released study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that a surprising large number of motorists are now failing to keep their emotions at bay.

Indeed, close to 80 percent of drivers surveyed confessed to expressing anger, aggression or some other form of road rage over the course of the last year, while close to eight million confessed to taking their anger to another level by exiting their vehicle to confront another motorist or, perhaps unbelievably, purposely ramming another vehicle.

Some of the more noteworthy findings of the study included:

  • 51 percent of drivers confessed to purposefully tailgating
  • 24 percent of drivers confessed to blocking other drivers from changing lanes
  • 12 percent of drivers confessed to speeding up to cut off other drivers
  • 3 percent of drivers confessed to purposely ramming another drivers

What makes these findings even more stunning -- and perhaps ironic -- is that nine out of ten drivers surveyed agreed with the sentiment that aggressive drivers pose a serious threat to personal safety.

Sadly, statistics show that they are right in this belief, as AAA has also found that as many as 56 percent of all fatal accidents involve some form of overtly aggressive driving.

What then can drivers, particularly men between the ages of 19-39, do to stay calm and collected while driving?

The answer, according to AAA, is threefold:

  • Don't be the aggressor, meaning never purposefully perform a driving maneuver that forces another to apply the brakes or turn the wheel
  • Don't respond to other's road rage, meaning resist the urge to engage, keep your eyes on the road and, if necessary, call 9-1-1
  • Don't assume or forget to be forgiving, meaning don't assume ill will on the part of another driver, as it's possible they are having a terrible day or simply made a mistake

Always remember that if the reckless conduct of another driver has caused you to suffer serious personal injuries, you can hold seek to hold them legally accountable for their actions. 

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