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Fatal ‘road rage’ crashes are on the rise

You cannot control the actions of other drivers on Houston roads and sometimes this is very frustrating. It can be tempting to yell at other drivers, honk your horn or worse if you feel like another driver violated your right of way, cut in front of you, tailgated or in some other way broke traffic laws. However, acting in a retaliatory manner behind the wheel can be dangerous not just for you but for other motorists on the road as well.

How common is road rage?

Aggressive driving — referred to as “road rage” in extreme circumstances — is said to play a role in 54% of all fatal car accidents. One study found that road rage led to approximately 30 fatalities and a further 1,800 injuries annually. A survey found that 78% of motorists admitted to having driven aggressively in the past year. In addition, road rage is becoming more common, with a 500% increase in fatal road rage accidents from 2006 to 2015.

What are some examples of road rage?

Road rage differs from aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is driving in a way that purposely poses a risk to others. Road rage is more extreme than aggressive driving and poses an immediate and significant risk to others. Some examples of road rage behaviors include:

  • Making rude gestures
  • Swearing
  • Bumping, sideswiping or ramming another motorist
  • Harassing another motorist with the vehicle’s headlights
  • Braking in a way that harasses other motorists
  • Forcing another motorist off the road

Given these behaviors, it is easy to see how road rage can easily lead to a motor vehicle accident.

Road rage can be an act of negligence

All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicle defensively and with due care. If a driver commits an act of road rage, this breaches that duty. If the breach causes a car accident and but for that breach the car accident would not have occurred, and another person is injured or killed in the crash, then the road rage driver may be deemed negligent and could be held liable in a subsequent lawsuit. In the end, if you were injured in a road rage crash or other motor vehicle accident, you will want to explore all your legal rights and options for compensation.