Aggressive driving and road rage are common occurrences in the greater Atlanta area. In fact, Atlanta ranked within the top ten cities with the most aggressive drivers in a 2019 GasBuddy study. The study found that Atlanta drivers are more than 20 percent more aggressive than the average American driver. Additionally, Georgia was ranked within the top five U.S. states with the most aggressive drivers in 2018.
A recent study conducted by the insurance marketplace website The Zebra delves deeper into the scope of the problem. The survey was first conducted by research firm SurveyGizmo in October 2019. The Zebra examined responses from 978 drivers ages 17-85 from all U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
Most drivers have engaged in aggressive driving
There is a difference between aggressive driving and road rage, but there is also some overlap. For example:
- Aggressive driving involves dangerous and erratic driving that is done deliberately. This includes tailgating, cutting off other drivers and speeding through red lights.
- Road rage occurs when one driver becomes angry or impatient with another driver and unleashes their frustration. Common examples of road rage include obscene gestures, violent confrontations, purposely ramming another car and driving another motorist off the road. Having road rage may also cause angry drivers to drive aggressively.
According to the survey, roughly 82 percent of participants admitted to engaging in aggressive driving or road rage at least once within the past year. Ninety percent also witnessed other drivers engaging in it. Of those who engaged in aggressive driving and/or road rage:
- 59% said they honked out of frustration
- 45% changed lanes without signaling
- 42% yelled or swore at another motorist or pedestrian
- 38% made obscene gestures, such as flipping off another driver
- 33% reported speeding in heavy traffic
- 7% got out of their cars to confront another driver
- 6% threw objects at another car
- 6% reported getting into physical altercations
- 5% purposely sideswiped another car
- 5% purposely rammed or bumped another car
- Another 5% drove another motorist off the road
Additionally, roughly 46 percent of participants said they kept weapons in their car, such as:
- Pepper spray - 15%
- Knife - 10%
- Bat or club - 9%
- Gun - 7%
- Taser - 5%
Driving behaviors that lead to road rage
The survey found that the top driving behaviors that made other drivers angry include:
- Tailgating - 44%
- Distracted driving - 42%
- Getting cut off - 33%
- Driving too slow - 30%
- Not using a turn signal - 28%
Best ways to avoid a road rage incident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal crashes linked to road rage have increased by nearly 500 percent over the last 10 years. Road rage injuries and deaths are completely avoidable, however. Here's how you can avoid a dangerous situation:
- Use caution when driving. Being cautious and staying attentive is a great way to avoid angering another driver. Even the most careful drivers occasionally make small mistakes. Some drivers overreact to these mistakes and express frustration.
- Don't engage with aggressive drivers. While it may be challenging to ignore an aggressive driver, doing so can prevent an inconvenient situation from turning serious. If you're being tailgated, it's best to pull over and let the other driver pass. It also helps to keep a safe distance from drivers who appear to be aggressive.
- Call the police if it gets serious. If another driver is trying to confront or follow you, don't engage them. Doing so can make the situation worse. Instead, either drive to the nearest police station or call the police. Be sure to keep your windows rolled up and your car doors locked.
What to do if you were injured by an aggressive driver
Aggressive drivers often only think of themselves. They don't consider the potential consequences of their actions until it's too late — they've caused a crash that injured or killed someone. If you or a loved one was injured by an aggressive driver, it's critical that you get a strong legal advocate on your side. The legal team at the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to helping crash victims get their lives back after a serious injury.
We often see crash victims undergo operations, months of physical therapy and other medical treatments during their recovery. Many of these individuals can't work and earn a paycheck. The insurance companies often take advantage of their situation. Our car accident attorneys won't let that happen. When you hire us, we'll put our legal knowledge and resources into investigating your crash and fighting for a full financial settlement.
We have six law offices conveniently located in Georgia. Contact us online or call us to get started on your free and confidential case evaluation.