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Aggressive Driving Common among US Drivers

A man screaming while driving

Everyone gets frustrated on the road from time to time. It’s one thing to mutter something about the other driver’s presumed IQ to yourself, or even make a gesture at them that you wouldn’t want your mother to see. It’s another to use your car as a battering ram to show your anger with another driver. A recent study has found that a shocking number of drivers exhibit road rage in potentially violent ways.

In 2009, research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that aggressive driving can have serious negative consequences. The AAA Foundation looked at accident reports and data gathered from fatal accidents, and determined that, in about 56% of all auto accidents causing a fatality, at least one of the drivers involved behaved aggressively in some way in the lead-up to the accident.

In its more recent study, the AAA Foundation sought to examine the frequency of behaviors it defined as “aggressive,” including yelling at another driver, honking out of anger, making a rude gesture at a driver, following another car too closely to get them to move or go faster (i.e., tailgating), cutting off another driver deliberately, leaving their car to physically confront another driver, and deliberately bumping or ramming another car. The study, consisting of surveys distributed to over 2,700 licensed drivers across the country, found that 78% of all drivers have engaged in some form of aggressive driving behavior in the past year. The most commonly-reported behavior was tailgating, which 51% of all drivers reported doing at least once. Honking and yelling at other drivers was also reported by nearly half of all drivers. More startlingly, 4% of all drivers reported getting out of their car to confront another driver, and 3% reported bumping or ramming another car out of anger. While 3% sounds like a relatively modest portion of active drivers, this means that, if extrapolated to the whole population, 5.7 million licensed, active drivers used their car to hit another car deliberately. The AAA Foundation warned against allowing anger to motivate driving behavior, and suggested that more careful enforcement by police officers of moving violations such as following too closely could reduce accidents resulting from aggressive driving.

If you’ve been injured in an accident on New Jersey roads that resulted from another driver’s negligence or recklessness, seek the compensation you may be owed with the help of a skilled legal professional and contact the law offices of Andrew R. Jacobs for a free consultation, at 973-532-9681.

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