Despite the public outcry on the dangers of distracted driving, there is one driving practice that is arguably equally as dangerous but does not receive the same national attention. “Road rage” occurs when a driver becomes so annoyed and enraged that he or she may use their car as a weapon to take out their frustrations, or may exit their vehicle to inflict harm onto someone else. In either scenario, aggressive behavior can lead to disastrous results.
A recent article on motorist.com highlighted some statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Aggressive behaviors (which may lead to aggressive driving and road rage) cause nearly two-thirds of traffic fatalities on American roads. More than a third of all road rage incidents involve a firearm, and over a seven year period, more than 200 people have been murdered and more than 12,000 people have been injured as a result of road rage.
Indeed, road rage may lead to criminal charges, but it can also have civil implications. After all, drivers have a duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel, and the annoyance of another driver does not absolve them of this duty. As such, if a driver lets his or her emotions take hold in a way that they would allow them to take revenge on another driver, this could be viewed as a breach of that duty. If the other driver is injured as a result, the offending driver could be held liable for their actions.