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What is the correlation between road rage and car accidents?

On Behalf of Palacios Law Group

As a New York motorist, you know firsthand that navigating the roadways may be quite emotional. Whether you are stuck in traffic on the way to an important meeting or you need to hurry home from work, it is not uncommon to feel angry while behind the wheel. This anger, however, is often linked to risky and hazardous driving behaviors which can cause devastating car accidents.

According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, approximately 56% of deadly car accidents involved at least one form of aggressive driving. Furthermore, at least 80% of American motorists admit to experiencing anger while driving at least once within the past year. It is important to know how to spot the signs of road rage and understand how to handle the situation safely in order to minimize the risk of significant injury or death.

What are the signs?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, hazardous driving includes the following:

  • Excessive honking or yelling
  • Speeding or racing another vehicle
  • Tailgating or following extremely close behind another vehicle
  • Failing to adhere to stop lights, pedestrian crosswalks, traffic signals or other drivers’ right of way
  • Driving on the shoulder of the road

In some cases, drivers may get extremely enraged and attempt to cause a physical altercation.

What should you do?

While you may feel tempted to yell back or otherwise engage in hazardous driving behaviors, it is important to stay calm. Contact law enforcement and allow them to handle the situation in a safe manner. If you should start feeling angry behind the wheel, try listening to calm music or practice deep breathing. Keep in mind that keeping yourself and others safe is most important.

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