Avoiding Road Rage in Pennsylvania

August 31, 2020

Almost two years ago, a Pennsylvania man who pled guilty to fatally shooting a recent high school graduate in a fit of road rage was sentenced to 20-40 years in prison. Road rage represents the very worst of automobile accidents: senseless, avoidable, and exceptionally damaging to all those involved, including their family members. 

According to a recent survey on the Zebra:

  • 19.3% of respondents reported feeling anger and intense aggression while driving in the past year, 5.5% said they experienced those same feelings weekly, and 2.8% reported those same feelings every time they drive. 
  • The most common type of road rage behavior was honking their car horns in anger, but almost half of the respondents witnessed drivers giving rude hand gestures to other drivers. Other common acts of road rage include yelling at another driver and actually getting out of a vehicle to fight another driver. 
  • Respondents listed distracted driving, tailgating, and being cut off in traffic as the most aggravating behaviors.

If you have been involved in a road rage accident, an Allentown car accident lawyer can help.

What Causes Road Rage?

Every driver occasionally feels frustrated, whether due to traffic, running late, or some poor decision by another driver. Unfortunately, that anger can last far longer and be much more intense than it should be, and this can lead to serious consequences like physical injury or even, as described above, death. 

So what is road rage? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified several differences between mere aggressive driving and genuine road rage. Aggressive driving describes various types of reckless behavior, from tailgating to speeding or cutting off another car and preventing it from passing. 

Road rage, on the other hand, often involves violent intent towards another driver, including using a vehicle as a weapon to actually ram into another car, physically fighting with another driver after pulling over, or using a weapon, such as a handgun, to threaten or cause harm.

How to Avoid Road Rage

Road rage should be avoided at all costs. It’s simply too dangerous, and most people would never engage in this type of behavior if they weren’t physically detached by their vehicle. Furthermore, most people feel embarrassed and ashamed of their behavior after the adrenaline wears off. So, try to remember these simple steps – they may save a life.

  • Plan ahead. If you give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going, you’ll be under less stress.
  • Remember that the person you’re angry with may just be having a bad day. Maybe they’re on their way home from the hospital.
  • Be the grownup. Simply ignore obscene gestures and laugh it off.
  • Let it go. If someone is tailgating you, just move over and let them pass. No need to make the issue bigger than it is.
  • Remain calm. Listen to music, think positive, relax your grip on the wheel.
  • Don’t engage. Avoid eye contact with angry drivers and give them plenty of space. Pretend you don’t even know they’re there.
  • Be polite. Lay off the horn.
  • Don’t take it personally. It’s just driving.
  • Don’t be followed home. If an angry driver follows you, drive to the nearest police station.

Contact an Allentown Car Accident Lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis

Road rage may be the most serious of all dangerous driving practices. Anyone involved in a road rage incident needs the help of an Allentown car accident lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis. We can help you understand your options and file any claims that may be needed. If you need our help contact us online.