Road Rage Spikes - For Drivers, The No. 1 Frustration Is ...
For much of 2020, there were many fewer vehicles on the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and even now, traffic is down overall. You'd think this would reduce common driving frustrations, but apparently that is not the case.
A new study says drivers are more agitated than ever. Incidents of road rage and aggressive driving are through the roof. About 1 out of every 5 drivers say they are more frustrated with other motorists than usual, according to a survey by The Zebra.
Wilmington, Road Rage, Fatal Car Accident
Wilmington is, unfortunately, familiar with this phenomenon. The community recently experienced a fatal car crash allegedly caused by road rage.
Two men are now facing manslaughter and other charges in relation to an early November car accident at the intersection of Market Street and Station Road, according to local news reports. The crash killed a 79-year-old man. Although details are scarce as of writing this blog, aggression and speed appear to have been accident factors.
Road rage is a form of aggressive driving that includes reckless and negligent behaviors such as changing lanes without signaling, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, honking, blocking others, and yelling.
When negligent drivers cause serious car accidents, they are liable for the resulting damage. Injured victims and surviving family members frequently hire car accident attorneys to handle the legal process and negotiations while they heal.
The Zebra study seeks to understand how people's driving behavior has shifted during the pandemic. It reveals some disturbing trends.
Key findings include:
- About 35% of people say they are driving less today, but 1 in 5 drivers say they experience more frustration while driving compared to before the pandemic
- Distracted driving is the No. 1 source for driver anger and frustration
- Almost all drivers (95%) have observed aggressive driving or road rage in the past year, while 64% admit to doing it
- About 25% of drivers keep a weapon or safety device in their vehicle
Distracted Driving And Road Rage
Distracted driving has skyrocketed as a source of driver frustration, according to the study. Just two years ago, about 40% of drivers said distracted driving makes them the angriest. Now more than 60% of drivers say it's their number one frustration.
Distracted driving has become a leading factor in many serious injury-causing and fatal car accidents. In 2019 more than 3,140 people were killed in distracted driving accidents, according to researchers. Distracted driving doesn't just include texting; it is anything that takes your focus off the road. This includes:
- Changing music, adjusting temperature, opening windows, etc.
- Searching for items within the vehicle
- Talking with passengers
- Using a cell phone or smartphone (making calls, looking up information, texting, using social media, taking photos, etc.)
- Entering information into a GPS
Drivers say that common sources of their frustration include (from most to least frustrating):
- Others not using turn signals
- Tailgating (following too close)
- Getting cut off
- Other motorists drive "too slow"
- Other motorists drive "too fast"
- Blocked from merging
- Other drivers displaying anger
- Construction zones
Most Frustrating Traffic Situations
Some spots are more likely to frustrate drivers than others. Survey respondents say that they experience the most road rage while driving on, at, or around a highway/freeway, traffic lights, intersections, and shopping centers.
Drivers gave various reasons why they think road rage is up. Drivers say that their road rage is fueled by:
- The belief that other people, emboldened by less traffic, are driving more recklessly. (This belief is most likely correct, according to early analysis.)
- An influx of city dwellers who are unfamiliar with rural roadways. (Real estate experts note a pandemic-led shift in migration to the suburbs and rural communities.)
- People are under more stress and faster to snap due to heightened general anxiety around COVID-19.
For the most part, drivers are handling the increased frustration by listening to music, yelling or cursing, waiting until the feeling goes away, or driving a different route to avoid expected annoyances.
Injured In An Accident? Help Is Available
The Law Offices of Richard Flexner is a Wilmington-based personal injury law firm that fights hard to get accident victims the justice and compensation they deserve after car, truck, or motorcycle crashes.
Our car accident attorneys offer free case consultations to injured accident victims and their families. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a road rage incident or another type of car accident, contact us to schedule your free case consultation. There is no obligation, just answers about your rights and options.
Do not speak to an insurance adjuster or accept a settlement offer before consulting with an attorney. Call, email, or chat online with a member of our legal team right now.