Road rage rising at an alarming rate

Published 4:08 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

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To the Editor:

“Seeing aggressive driving, sometimes called road rage, has become familiar while on the road, especially if you have a long commute or get stuck in traffic. Behavior like speeding, tailgating, honking, or yelling at another driver can seem like everyday things, but can quickly turn dangerous or deadly.” (Finance Buzz)

According to AAA, road rage is a factor in more than 50 percent of all car crashes that end in a fatality. Moreover, 80 percent of all drivers expressed significant road rage at least once in the last 30 days. According to this survey, 40.1 percent of baby boomers, members of the generation born between 1945 and the mid-1960s, will yell at another driver when he/she is exhibiting aggressive behaviors. Further, 21.4 percent of those of the post-war generation will yell at another driver when angry. The aforesaid statistics adumbrate serious trouble in the future.

The fact that nearly eight in ten drivers exhibited aggressive behaviors behind the wheel in 2019 notwithstanding, millennials are the most likely to experience road rage. By the way, millennials (people born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s) are the most likely to experience road rage. (AAA)

Per the Gun Violence Archive, 141 people in 2022 were killed by guns during a road rage incident. Additionally, 413 individuals were wounded by such weapons. These statistics are alarming and consequential. It should behoove motorists to use caution, restraint, and commonsense while driving and learn to avoid and preclude violent encounters with belligerent motorists.

I have experienced many situations where hostile and pugnacious motorists would tailgate me. When I moved up while in heavy traffic, the driver on my back bumper seemingly moved up each time, while coming within a foot of hitting my vehicle. Did I grab my gun to confront him? No. I do not want to go to prison. Consequently, I handled the matter intelligently and changed lanes expeditiously.

On one occasion, I contacted a local NC Highway Patrol station, but the dispatcher acted as if she did not have a clue about what I was reporting.

Let’s be crystal clear. Some motorists will experience road rage-related situations where another driver may exit his vehicle and look for trouble by banging on the window of the driver in front. The front driver should call the police immediately and proceed cautiously to avoid a potentially lethal outcome.

Last but not least, when a driver is charged with road rage, his car insurance typically increases. Though each state has its own individual rules, the average increase for insurance bills is $1,034, with a maximum around $4,220. This does not include fines or court costs, according to AAA.

Keith W. Cooper