Aggressive Driving vs. Road Rage
Contrary to popular belief, aggressive driving and road rage is not one and the same. But both of these negligent driving behaviors can end in tragic accidents for many road users. The main distinction between aggressive driving and road rage is that road is a criminal offense, while aggressive driving is usually considered a traffic offense.
Understanding Aggressive Driving Behaviors
Aggressive driving is an umbrella term for certain driving behaviors that are dangerous or performed without disregard for traffic and safety laws. These include:
- Going over the posted speed limit
- Tailgating or following another vehicle too closely
- Making rolling stops instead of complete stops
- Cutting off other drivers
- Stopping in front of other drivers suddenly
- Driving recklessly
- Offensive behaviors, such as making rude gestures, yelling, and excessive horn honking, among others.
In most cases, aggressive driving behaviors can escalate to deadly road rage incidents.
What Exactly is Road Rage?
Road rage involves driving a vehicle with the intention of harming other drivers or assaulting them or their vehicles physically. These days, where slow-moving and heavy traffic and busy schedules are normal, more and more drivers become more easily frustrated or angered while driving. Crowded roadways and misplaced anger don’t is a dangerous combination, causing hostility and suspicion among motorists and emboldening them to take the errors of other motorists personally.
Anger is the primary motivation for road rage. When road rage incidents happen, it’s usually because offenders are feeling extremely stressed with other issues in their lives. This sometimes leads to an explosion of anger, which results in serious legal consequences, severe injuries, or death. High-anger motorists normally:
- Take more risks when driving, such as speeding more often, usually up to 20 miles over the posted limit, switching lanes rapidly, or tailgating and speeding through an intersection, even on a red light.
- Get angry faster than they normally would and engage in aggressive driving behaviors, such as name-calling, swearing, screaming at other motorists, honking in anger, etc.
- Engage in aggressive and hostile thinking. For instance, they are more likely to state their disbelief about how others drive or insult them. They likewise have more retaliatory and vengeful thoughts about other motorists, sometimes plotting ways to harm them physically.
- Are more impulsive and anxious. Drivers who are quick to anger have an increased risk of getting angry while driving, which may result from stress from home or work. They normally tend to react without thinking first and get angry in less controlled and more outward ways.
But it’s vital to note that anger isn’t chronic, even in high-anger drivers. It is something that’s prompted by various stressful events or triggers before and while driving.
Consult With an Experienced Sarasota Car Accident Attorney Now
Drivers who are prone to road rage and those who drive aggressively are not just irritating. Their irresponsible and reckless behavior endangers all road users. If you’ve been injured in a road rage or aggressive driving crash, please contact Matthews Injury Law for legal guidance. Complete our online form or call 941-877-5800 to set up your complimentary case evaluation with our Sarasota car accident attorney.