Many New Jersey motorists are concerned about the threat that road rage can pose. People have lost their lives in road rage incidents, especially when guns are involved. There were 247 incidents around the country of drivers brandishing guns in 2014, and that number rose to 620 in 2016. In the first half of 2017, there were 325 such incidents, pointing towards a new high. In some cases, raging drivers use their cars as weapons, running over or hitting people they believe have wronged them.
Deadly car accidents linked to rage on the road or aggressive driving rose dramatically for the periods in which statistics are available. In 2006, only 80 fatal crashes were connected to aggression, but there were 467 related collisions by 2015, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Around 80% of drivers responding to one American Automobile Association survey said that they had somehow expressed aggression while behind the wheel. Some of the most common types were relatively mild – 45% said they honked horns in anger, 47% yelled and 33% used obscene gestures. However, a surprising 51% admitted to tailgating deliberately, a driving behavior that can lead to serious accidents.
Another 24% admitted to blocking other cars from changing lanes, 12% said they cut off other cars deliberately, and 3% and 4% respectively said that they rammed other cars or left their cars to confront drivers. Some researchers looked at angry drivers, finding that they were also more likely to be angry elsewhere. In many cases, they expressed anger from work, relationship or other issues behind the wheel.
Road rage isn’t just impolite. It can lead to catastrophic motor vehicle collisions and severe injuries. People injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s aggressive driving can consult with a personal injury lawyer about their options to pursue compensation.