Road rage remains a tricky area of the law. Even the public is unsure of how to accurately define this phenomenon. Yet, it happens nearly every day in America. Here’s everything you need to know about road rage according to studies from 2019.
What Is Road Rage?
In a national survey, Americans were split on how to define what road rage is. Half believe it is a physical response brought on by another driver’s behavior, while the second half think it is the feelings behind the action.
As it stands, road rage is defined as stress or frustration caused by driving conditions that leads to violent anger. Some experts define it as intermittent explosive disorder, which is when individuals lash out in anger over unfavorable conditions or incidents. Actions like tailgating, cutting a vehicle off, or acting aggressively towards other drivers in general all constitute the definition of road rage.
Are All Instances Violent?
While ideas surrounding road rage often point to violent actions, most individuals contain their anger within their car. Most people yell, honk their horn, or simply make a rude gesture. While your blood pressure might rise, it’s important to contain your emotions and focus on the road.
There are three proven methods to help curb your anger. The first is listening to music you enjoy, which helps roughly 69% of drivers. The second is to call a friend or family member, which allows you to vent about your experience. The third is to drive somewhere remote and quiet if possible.
The Impact of Road Rage
Out of the 5,937,000 reported car accidents in 2006, only 80 fatal ones were road rage related. That number has steadily increased, however. In 2015, the number rose to 467. By 2016, 620 cases involved a firearm.
From 2013 to 2017, incidents involving a firearm killed 136 individuals. There were 620 cases involving firearms in 2016 alone. Road rage statistics 2019 are not fully compiled yet, but are expected to show an increase in all numbers. While those numbers are shocking, only 18% of drivers ever feel the need to report an incident to the police.
Road Rage and Aggressive Driving
In some cases, rage on the road can lead individuals to drive aggressively. Tailgating, speeding, and blocking another vehicle from passing are all considered aggressive driving actions. These reckless maneuvers are far more likely to cause an accident.
Extreme cases include ramming one vehicle into another, physical violence, or the use of a weapon. All instances constitute a criminal charge due to their disregard for the safety of others. If you witness these actions or are the victim of road rage and aggressive driving, it is your duty as a citizen to report it to the police.
Who is Committing These Crimes?
In the Baby Boomer generation, road rage often occurs from differences in opinion about the left lane. Older generations consider the left lane a way to pass other vehicles on the road while others use it for cruising. This age group constitutes 8% of deadly road rage accidents.
Generation X, ages 40 to 54, sees that percentage increase to 25. Generations Y and Z are aged 18 to 24, comprising 14% of aggressive driving crashes. This final age group is divided on the use of the left lane for cruising or passing.