How is Road Rage Different From Aggressive Driving?
Road rage and aggressive driving are often confused for one another or used interchangeably, both by analysts and drivers themselves. Many people who engage in aggressive driving might wrongly believe themselves to be road-raging, and vice versa—however, these two offenses are distinctly separate from one another, so it’s vital that you understand how they’re different:
- Road rage is a targeted, violent assault in which someone attacks other drivers. Road rage is a criminal offense involving direct attempts to harm others or destroy property while driving; this could include ramming other vehicles, leaving one’s vehicle to try and assault another driver, screaming and cursing at others, tailgating other cars dangerously, or destroying property with one’s vehicle. Road rage is likely to result in punitive damages being levied against the at-fault driver, to further discourage targeted aggression in the future.
- Aggressive driving endangers others but is not explicitly malicious in nature. Excess speeding, running red lights, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting others off, not signaling, and similarly dangerous yet nonviolent/ untargeted actions all constitute aggressive driving. Although these incidents are generally treated as non-criminal traffic offenses, they can be just as dangerous as cases of road rage, and cause a significant quantity of injuries and fatalities, with over 100 million drivers engaging in aggressive driving annually.
Responding to Road Rage and Aggressive Driving
While aggravated drivers can seem completely unreasonable, reckless, and infuriating, it’s important to recognize that they’re still human beings, and very rarely are acting out of genuine malice. The causes of road rage and aggressive driving are complex, but often involve extenuating circumstances in the life of the driver—difficult family lives, layoffs at work, being in a rush, and similar grievances can weigh upon drivers heavily, emotionally destabilizing them to the point that even a minor annoyance on the road causes them to snap. Road rage is rarely ever brought on by the actions of other drivers alone; as such, you shouldn’t get angry yourself or take it personally.
If you see an aggressive or raging driver, the most important thing you can do is stay calm, both to avoid inciting further aggression from them, but also to make sure you don’t become an angry driver yourself, increasing the likelihood of getting into an auto accident in Arizona. Stay out of their way, remain courteous, and avoid engaging with them in any fashion, including via eye contact, honking your horn, or vocally responding. If you’re being targeted or followed, make sure to remain in your vehicle and find a public place to wait, such as a hospital, police station, or another high-traffic area; once it’s safe to do so, you should contact the police and report the driver.
Anger-Related Auto Accidents in Arizona
If you’re hurt in an accident by someone else’s anger and recklessness, don’t let it slide. You deserve extensive compensation for your losses, and ELG’s Phoenix auto accident lawyers can help you secure just that. By scheduling a free consultation with us at (623) 877-3600, you can get the help of a compassionate professional who can hold your hand throughout every step of the claims process, relieving you of the tedium, stress, and uncertainty of it all.