In a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80% of drivers surveyed admitted to aggressive driving at least once in the previous 30 days. This includes speeding, cutting off other drivers, tailgating, etc. This suggests that most, if not all, of our New York readers has experienced aggressive drivers on the road recently. That is scary.
Only about 3% of AAA respondents purposely caused a car accident by ramming another car, and 3.7% admitting to attempting to confronting another driver. However, with the hundreds of millions of cars on United States roads, these small percentages represent millions of drivers. This means that our roadways have likely never been more unsafe from aggressive, dangerous drivers.
We know this is the case as well. According to AAA, 56% of fatal motor vehicle accidents were caused by aggressive drivers. These drivers have twice as many accidents or near accidents in their lifetimes. In yet another AAA survey, they found that those involved in an accident with the prior two years had engaged in aggressive driving. The National Safety Council found that, in 2019, 452 fatal car accidents were due to road rage, which is nearly 1% of all fatal accidents in the United States.
Not just car accidents
In just the first five months of 2021, 210 people were shot, wounded or killed by gun violence related to road rage in the United States. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, this is double the average from the previous four years.
Avoiding the rage
Engaging can be tempting. Bad driving is maddening for New Yorkers, and engaging with them seems righteous. But, it is dangerous, and people die. Whenever the compulsion to engage rises up, breath and count to 10. If one needs to pull over or exit the highway, do it. Adding extra time to a commute is well worth saving one’s own life.