How Do Aggressive Driving Accidents Happen in Wilmington, NC?
From 2003 to 2007, close to half of all car accidents involved at least one motorist engaging in some type of aggressive driving behavior prior to the crash, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. One reason why many motorists engage in aggressive behavior is due to the everyday frustration of driving. Motorists can become angry if they get stuck in traffic or grow irritated if they feel others around them are going too slowly. Some drivers get angry when another driver purposefully cuts them off or refuses to let them change lanes.
Whatever the catalyst, studies show a lot of motorists are prone to feeling rage while behind the wheel. In fact, according to a AAA Foundation survey, an estimated 80 percent of all drivers admitted they'd experienced "significant anger" at least once over the year before the survey. These findings are deeply troubling because road rage is known to be deadly.
It should be noted that North Carolina does not have a "road rage law," but courts do recognize it as a cause of action in negligence lawsuits.
How Do Aggressive Driving Accidents Occur?
Road rage sometimes gives rise to actual incidents of violence, where one driver shoots another motorist or follows another motorist somewhere and a fight breaks out. While these types of road rage incidents are not unheard of, they aren't common. What we see much more often are accidents caused by drivers who are aggressive due to rage.
Many motorists who feel road rage don't just get angry. They act on their anger. This causes them to engage in high-risk driving behaviors including:
- Speeding excessively
- Driving too fast to be safe in heavy traffic
- Cutting off other drivers
- Purposefully slowing down in front of other motorists to cause annoyance, especially after cutting off the other driver
- Running red lights
- Weaving in traffic to pass other vehicles
- Not signaling prior to changing lanes
- Blocking other cars from changing lanes using a vehicle
- Using brakes to punish other drivers
- Using headlights to punish other drivers
This list of aggressive driving behaviors illustrates why collisions happen due to driver aggression. All of these things make an accident far more likely to occur. If a driver is weaving in and out of traffic, for example, he could hit any of the cars he is trying to navigate around because he may be more focused on getting where he's going than ensuring he is behaving in a safe way.
Drivers are responsible for controlling their rage and anger and not letting it negatively effect their ability to drive. Unfortunately, far too many drivers fail to live up to this responsibility. A driver who is behaving aggressively can be held accountable and should compensate anyone who is harmed as a result of aggressive driving behavior. Victims of drivers caught in the throes of road rage need to know their rights and should strongly consider pursing a claim for compensation for any resulting losses.