According to a recent news report, road-rage related incidents are on the rise in South Carolina. This is a significant concern, as AAA Greenville estimates that road rage is a factor in over half of all fatal car accidents and the National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly two-thirds of all auto accidents involve road rage. Aside from the yelling, gesturing, and emotions, road rage can cause drivers to increase speed, unlawfully pass other vehicles, and create dangerous conditions for other drivers on the road. Road rage is a serious condition that is affecting the safety of our roads in South Carolina, and it can be prevented entirely.
Causes of Road Rage
Someone is driving “too slowly” (even though they might be going the speed limit). You get mad, speed up, unlawfully pass, and make a hand gesture when doing so. Cutting off another driver, coupled with the hand gesture, is a sure way to spread your anger to others on the road. The other driver may speed up to try to agitate you now—whether by intentionally tailgating, honking, or just making it known that they are irritated. These types of interactions have caused drivers to pull guns on one another, engage in fistfights, and cause accidents, both intentional and unintentional.
You may not know you were frustrating other drivers until you have been honked at and unlawfully passed. While it is true you should never feel the need to speed up or pass to accommodate another vehicle, it is very important to be cognizant of the vehicles driving around you. If you choose to drive at or below the speed limit, make sure you are not driving in the “fast lane.” It is important to understand that others may not choose to follow driving laws the way you do and may become frustrated by your compliance. If it is safe to do so, you may need to pull over to allow a vehicle to pass. If a weapon or a gesture has threatened you, or if you become frightened due to another driver’s erratic behavior, make sure to stay in well-lit, populated areas, and avoid getting out of your car to confront the driver. If there is damage to your vehicle, make sure you are in a crowded space where others are present, and always contact the police if you feel you are in a dangerous situation.
While these tips may help you avoid confrontation, drivers will still often find a way to get mad at other drivers for just about anything, especially when they are in a hurry. Try to be patient and understanding and do not return their frustration with anger or violence. Road rage is a real thing that is deeply affecting road safety; do not be one of its victims.
Columbia, South Carolina Auto Accident Attorneys
If you or anyone you know has been an auto accident, regardless of whether it was a true accident or the result of road rage, you have legal rights. Contacting an experienced South Carolina auto accident attorney will ensure that you understand what your rights are and ensure that you receive the legal recourse that you are entitled to by law. To learn more about your legal options following an auto accident, contact the Solomon Law Group today.