Road Rage & Maryland Auto Accidents

Road rage is a term used to describe an overly angry or aggressive driver. An overly aggressive driver is much more likely to be involved in an auto accident. Driving aggressively is synonymous with negligent driving. It means the driver is not driving properly and putting themselves and others around them at a serious risk. With the development of technology, some drivers have drive cams that record the erratic driving of other vehicles. Understandably, people can get injured when they are in an accident involving road rage. Road rage has increased over the past several years with the population increasing. Instances of road rage are caught on camera or smart phone every week and posted on news channels.

Signs of a road rage driver can include:
  • Sudden braking or acceleration
  • Sudden unsafe lane changes
  • Yelling at other drivers
  • Following too closely
  • "Cutting off" another vehicle

Maryland, like other major cities, has congested traffic during peak hours of the day. Congested traffic is known for causing drivers to be become aggressive. No one wants to sit hours in traffic. Traffic is frustrating and when it becomes too much, a driver may become overly aggressive. If you spot a driver that has road rage – it is recommend you do not ‘fight back.’ Escalating the situation would be a safety risk for all involved. Statistically young men are at the highest risk for road rage. Less experienced drivers may become more irritated and it may happen faster than more experienced drivers. In a recent survey, 56% of men said they experience road rage on a daily basis. Only 44% of women responded they experience road rage on a daily basis. Men were also more likely to retaliate to other aggressive drivers.

Aggressive Driving in Maryland

Aggressive Driving is a serious problem on our nation's roads today. Aggressive driving is similar to but different from road rage. Incidents of road rage and aggressive driving are increasing every year. Roads are more crowded and people are often in a hurry and impatient to get where they need to be. During the summer, aggressive driving incidents are even more prevalent, especially during traffic jams.

88% of drivers claim they have had acts of aggressive driving directed towards them, and 60% of drivers say they have committed acts of aggressive driving. A study conducted a decade ago found over 10,000 incidents in which motorists were physically abused due to aggressive driving. 218 died as a result and over 10,000 were injured.

Acts of aggressive driving include tailgating, flashing high beams, rude hand gestures, cutting off other vehicles, speeding, driving on the shoulder illegally and in extreme cases physically assaulting other drivers. Maryland law defines aggressive driving as committing at least three of the following acts in close proximity to each other: speeding, ignoring road signs or traffic signals, tailgating, not yielding right of way, or passing improperly or on the right. The fine for aggressive driving can be up to $355.

We see aggressive drivers on our roads every day in Maryland. Usually, the aggressive drivers are inexperienced drivers. If you see drivers of other vehicles acting in an aggressive manner, please keep your distance so that you can avoid being injured in an accident.

We see aggressive drivers everyday on our roads.

What can we do?

Road rage is not uncommon, so what can be done about it? As responsible drivers we should all act courteously on our roads. Be sure to share the road with others and drive responsibly. Next time you are driving and someone cuts you off, try to remain calm. Take a deep breath and do not retaliate. There are almost 20% more cars on the road then there were just 10 years ago. In merge lanes, get out of the merging lane as soon as possible and do not try to continue passing other vehicles after vehicles in front of you have already merged into traffic. If you see someone acting in this manner, try and keep your emotions calm. You cannot let your emotions cause an accident that injured another. If someone blocks an intersection and slows traffic from crossing, please try and keep your emotions in control. There are some ways to reduce the stressors of driving in a highly congested city.

Ways to reduce stress while driving:
  • Listen to music
  • Roll down the window and get some air
  • Avoid excessive cell phone use – this may distract you while driving

If you have been injured in a car or truck accident our firm is here to answer your questions. Contact Foran & Foran, P.A. for a free case evaluation today.

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