Accidents can happen for many different reasons. More often than not, driver negligence is the catalyst. Human error, often simple mistakes, are the cause of a significant number of motor vehicle crashes. Unfortunately, around half of all deadly accidents may be caused by something more sinister than just a simple mistake. Approximately 50 percent of all fatal collisions on U.S. roads occur due to at least one of the involved drivers engaging in a "potentially aggressive action," according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Drivers who engage in aggressive behavior behind the wheel must be held accountable for the consequences of their decision. If they violate the rules of the road with their aggression and a crash occurs as a result, this creates a presumption that the aggressive motorist is to blame for the car accident.
Even if victims cannot prove a specific legal violation, a collision victim can still obtain compensation for crash losses by showing that the aggressive driver behaved more negligently or more carelessly than an average hypothetical motorist would have. An attorney can provide assistance to crash victims in proving that aggression was the cause of a collision.
Driver aggression leads to many different kinds of unsafe driving behaviors. For example, AAA asked drivers about their behavior over the course of the past year and found that drivers did lots of unsafe actions because of rage or anger:
- Around 104 million drivers in the United States purposefully tailgating another motorist.
- 95 million drivers yelled at other motorists on the road.
- 91 million drivers showed their anger or annoyance by beeping their horns at another driver.
- 67 million drivers made angry gestures while they were driving.
- 49 million drivers tried to block other cars on the road from being able to successfully change lanes.
- 24 million drivers intentionally cut off another car.
- Eight million drivers got out of their own car to confront another person.
- Six million motorist - a shocking number - intentionally hit another car, either by bumping it or by ramming it.
This means millions upon millions of drivers are taking unnecessary risks every day on U.S. roads because they are angry or frustrated while driving. AAA Foundation found as many as 80 percent of motorists responding to their survey said they had felt significant anger or even road rage at least once in the prior year while driving. Acting on this anger is unacceptable and it can have serious consequences.
Instead of risking your own life and the lives of others because you happen to be mad at another driver, focus only on your own actions and take calming deep breaths will driving. No bad behavior behind the wheel is worth reacting to if it leaves you causing a motor vehicle collision.