Road rage is common among drivers in the US and happens when a driver combines anger and emotions, plus some take the pressure off on others when late for appointments or interrupted by other drivers.
The aggressiveness contributes to other road offenses and endangers other people’s life. The number of rage-related accidents has been increasing over the years.
Stick on as we learn the shocking statistics on road rage. But First
What Leads to Road Rage?
There are various reasons for road rage, commonly known as aggressive driving. First, most people driving under the influence of alcohol make poor road judgments and are likely to get aggressive or annoy other drivers.
Another major cause of rage is when someone suffers from trauma or mental breakdown, and they may take away their emotions by getting aggressive when on the road. I love that we teach our students about road rage when taking the prelicensing course at our driving school.
Road rage behaviors include:
- Unnecessary honking.
- Rude gestures.
- Using brakes and hazards to intimidate fellow drivers.
- Bumping into another vehicle
- Shooting a gun at the driver or car
- Driving too fast
- Improper lane changing.
Shocking Road Rage Statistics
1. Most Drivers Respond Aggressively to Road Rage
When an aggressive driver approaches you, there is a high chance that you will also raise your temper, which happens with almost all drivers. Most drivers don’t want to get to the cause of the rage, but they also become anxious.
The typical responses to road rage are excessive honking, getting rude, light flashing, and shouting at the driver, which may add to the damage. Others will take it further by tailgating the other vehicle.
2. Road Rage caused 66% of Road Fatalities in 2020
According to the NHTSA, more than half of the fatalities were linked to aggressive driving, with 35,766 motor crashes that led to more deaths. The most common behavior was speeding, where people were rushing to an appointment or when late for work.
Improper lane changing also contributed to road rage-related fatalities. Ensure you check your mirrors to tell who is next to you for a smooth lane change.
4. More Young Drivers Were Involved in Road Rage
Recent research shows that young drivers between the ages of 25 and 39 were involved in road rage behaviors such as shouting and unnecessary honking. Drivers between 19 and 24 are likely to bump into another vehicle or be engaged in improper lane changes.
Men are more involved in aggressive driving than women; some get to the extent of throwing objects or having physical altercations with the other driver.
5. 29% of Fatalities on the Road in 2020 Were Speed-Related
As mentioned earlier, speeding is a common road rage among new drivers where each driver wants to get to their destination faster, disregarding traffic rules and lights.
In 2020, 29% of traffic deaths were due to speeding, with 11 258 deaths rising from 26% of deaths in 2019. Additionally, the higher percentage of these crashes were among males, with 31% compared to 18% in female drivers.
The risk of speeding increases with different road conditions, like driving in the rain and on dark roads at night.
6. One Person Was Killed Every 17 Hours Through a Road Rage Shooting
With easy access to guns, there were rising shooting cases during road rage, where some people use weapons to defend themselves. The shooting incidents have been happening in the past years, but it had gotten worse in 2021, with a person getting shot every 17 hours, which means 44 people were shot every month.
The incidences were double compared to the 22 shootings per month that happened between 2016 and 2019. Access to weapons increases the chance of shooting when people get into a confrontation.
522 people were injured in a road rage shooting in 2021, where 131 died.
7. Road Rage Death Rates Have Risen by 500%
The number of road rage fatalities has increased within a decade, where deaths occur in confrontations, speeding, and other aggressive driving actions that also lead to property damage. For example, in 2013, the number of fatalities was at 300 hundred, and it increased rapidly to 467 deaths in 2015.
New York City, Tampa, Phoenix, Miami, and Los Angeles rank at the top list of cities experiencing road rage.
8. 2% of Victims Want Revenge
When drivers experience road rage, they become angered, where 2% seek revenge after the experience to satisfy their emotions. Some will even try to run the other driver from the road.
Which are Some of the Road Rage Risk Factors?
Road rage rates are more likely to happen when young drivers want to drive at high speeds leading to teen-related driving crashes, than their older counterparts who feel the need to stay safe on the road to avoid extra costs and dangers that come with collisions.
Additionally, road rage may rise between the summer months and as the weekend starts, where some people drive when drunk and others try to get home faster for the weekend rest. It’s wise to stay alert during rush hour, between 9 am and 11 am, and in the evening, between 4 and 7 pm.
How Do You Prevent Road Rage?
Road rage is common, and it’s an individual’s responsibility to try their best and avoid getting aggressive or confronting other drivers. If you abide by the road rules, it will become easier.
Here are some ways to prevent road rage
- Avoid using hand gestures behind the wheel since some people find it offensive.
- Refrain from unnecessary honking; you should use short honks since long ones may trigger emotions in some drivers.
- Keep the proper distance between vehicles and give room for merging.
- Avoid high beams, especially when driving at night.
- Practice patience.
If you are in a road rage situation, please stay in your car since getting out may worsen the situation. Taking a deep breath will also help relieve your anger. Don’t let other drivers’ mistakes overwhelm you; remember, punishing others is not your responsibility.
Road rage causes more harm to everyone involved. It has led to many deaths, and the increasing shooting incidences during road rage are shocking. Speeding is a significant cause of road rage, and you should stick to the speed limit to avoid messing with the law or causing collisions. Lastly, please avoid confrontation with other drivers for safety.