Road rage is a hard reality in America’s big cities. As cities become more overpopulated and drivers become stressed out by long commutes and gridlock, road rage will continue to escalate.
Cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston, New York City, and Chicago can be terrifying places to drive if you are not from the areas. Drivers can be aggressive, rude, belligerent, and always seem angry when you do anything that slows them down.
But no one is perfect. It is hard for drivers to always make the right choices when they are not from the area. Putting on your turn signals a little later than you normally would or rushing out into traffic when it is dense are some of the tough judgment calls that travelers are forced to make.
Nevertheless, they should not be mocked, ridiculed, and threatened by other motorists for simply slowing them down or failing to operate their vehicles with predictable robot precision. One of the core aspects of safe driving and following the rules of the road is defensive driving.
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving embraces the reality that drivers are human and bound to err. No matter how cautious drivers may be, falling short of perfection is sometimes safer or more pragmatic than the alternative. It is the responsibility of other drivers on the roads to avoid driving aggressively, as defensive driving and aggressive driving are two very different things.
Aggressive drivers tailgate others to bully them out of lanes by riding their bumpers. They also weave in and out of lanes, brake suddenly, and speed a lot. Aggressive drivers waste fuel by braking hard and hitting the accelerator to the floor between traffic lights and stop signs.
In order for drivers to be free of negligence when an accident occurs, they have to practice defensive driving. If you as a driver see another driver coming the wrong way on a one-way street or is turning unexpectedly, it is your job to make evasive maneuvers, but without putting yourself or others in harm’s way as a result.
Most of the time, defensive driving can save motorists from accidents that are caused by the sheer unpredictability of the road and life in general. It is easy for drivers to become distracted or to back up or pass when they have a blind spot. It can be hard for drivers to estimate the rate of speed at which other drivers may be traveling when merging onto a highway.
Defensive driving is something that people who engage in road rage don’t understand. They want to blame you for the general nature of bad traffic patterns in the city. And they can be so stressed out and worked up about it that they’ll resort to violence or aggressive driving, which causes accidents.
When Does Road Rage Get Serious?
Any form of road rage can be serious because it shows there is a general animosity among drivers on the road. It may not be one single event but multiple events that progress and lead these drivers to snap. Some serious cases involve gangs and drug users who feel like people are disrespecting them, as a matter of principle, when they do anything that stresses them out.
There are many cases documented where gangbangers have killed innocent children over pocket change or disrespectful words alone simply for an abstract perception of crossing a line and not taking them seriously. This may be the effects of cocaethylene, a particularly toxic mix of alcohol and cocaine that can warp the minds of users and lead them to carry out senseless violence. Vulgar gestures, intimidation tactics, threats, and chasing down people who wrong road-rage drivers are now all too common and can lead to car accidents.
Call Fellerman & Ciarimboli today if you’ve been involved in a car accident or truck accident as a result of road rage. We provide our clients with our years of experience representing personal injury claimants.