Is COVID-19 Responsible for the Increase in Road Rage Accidents?
According to SafeMotorist.com, the term “road rage” was coined by a local news station in Los Angeles after a string of shootings occurred on several freeways in the city. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines road rage as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle or precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”
NHTSA and the Auto Vantage auto club provide these alarming statistics:
- 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.
- 37% of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm.
- Males under the age of 19 are the most likely to exhibit road rage.
- Half of the drivers on the receiving end of aggressive behavior, such as horn honking, a rude gesture, or tailgating, admit to responding with aggressive behavior themselves.
- Over seven years, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage.
- 2% of drivers admit to trying to run an aggressor off the road.
Road rage and aggressive driving are becoming more common on an ongoing basis. If you have been involved in an automobile accident in Florida, whether road rage-related or otherwise, a Florida accident lawyer at Searcy Denney can help.
Is COVID-19 Responsible?
Road rage incidents are usually triggered by some type of stress or anxiety that is often built up and contained, ready to explode. This stress and anxiety may be caused by things like financial difficulties or other problems at home or work, and, yes, COVID-19.
The impact of COVID-19 has caused many people to suffer economic losses from job losses, reduced hours and pay, and stressful job changes. COVID-19-related stress may include:
- Family members who catch the virus and become ill and unable to work,
- The fear of becoming ill themselves,
- The mental strain from the long months of social distancing or isolation and missing family and friends,
- Anxiety over the political issues, emotional losses, the uncertainty regarding how much longer the pandemic will continue, and even doubt about whether a vaccine will even work.
How Do I Avoid Road Rage?
Of course, you can’t change other people’s behavior, but you can protect yourself and others with a few simple steps:
- Plan Ahead. Allow a cushion in your travel time.
- Remain Calm. Listen to music you enjoy, relax your grip.
- Let Them Go. Move over if someone is tailgating you.
- Don’t Engage. Avoid eye contact with angry drivers and get out of their way.
- Be the Grownup. Ignore obscene gestures.
- Drive Politely. Leave plenty of space, ignore drivers who cut in front of you, and lay off the horn.
- Don’t Go Home. If an aggressive driver follows you, drive to the nearest police station.
Contact a Florida Accident Lawyer for More Information on Road Rage
Road rage is a behavior that rarely ends well for any party involved and is entirely preventable. If you have suffered injuries resulting from an automobile accident, let a Florida accident lawyer at Searcy Denney help. If you need us, contact us online today. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis.