What is the Difference Between Aggressive Driving and Road Rage?

In the United States, we see videos almost daily of drivers trying to mow down pedestrians, run other vehicles off the road, and even shoot another driver over a real or perceived offense. These are just some of the dangerous driving behaviors that can be described by the term “road rage.”

Are road rage and aggressive driving the same thing?

If you were injured in a car accident caused by road rage or aggressive driving, our attorneys can evaluate your claim and work with you to seek compensation. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys, give our law firm a call today. 

Road Rage vs Aggressive Driving

Road rage and aggressive driving are terms that most people use interchangeably to define certain types of driving behaviors that have a high probability of leading to serious accidents. Interestingly enough, there is actually a major difference between the two. 

The term “aggressive driving” refers to many different forms of traffic violations that drivers are willing to commit in order to move as quickly as possible through high-traffic areas, such as tailgating, speeding, unlawful passing, and running stop signs and red lights. 

KTLA, a news station out of Los Angeles, CA., is credited with coining the term “road rage” when one of their reporters covered a bunch of shootings that had recently taken place on local freeways. Going well beyond mere traffic infractions, road rage is a retaliatory behavior. It has been defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as moving violations committed for the sole purpose of endangering another person or their property. Behaviors associated with this phenomenon include assault with a weapon, including the vehicle itself committed by the occupant of one vehicle on an occupant of another vehicle.

Road Rage Statistics

Why Do Only Some People Experience Road Rage?

Numerous studies conducted by psychologists have shown that instances of road rage occur most frequently among high-anger drivers. These are people who can become angry and aggressive in the blink of an eye. High-anger drivers are much more prone to having hostile thoughts, making adverse assumptions about other motorists, and becoming irritated with other people’s driving behaviors.

It was also found that high-anger drivers take more risks behind the wheel. When compared to low-anger drivers, they are more likely to engage in reckless speeding, unsafe or illegal lane changes, tailgating, driving on the shoulder, and running red lights. Not only do they become angry much more quickly than low-anger drivers but they feel the need to express that anger by putting other people in danger.       

Talk to a Virginia Car Accident Attorney

If you suspect that your car accident was caused by a driver experiencing road rage, it is vital that you work with a reputable law firm that can offer straightforward legal advice and help you secure the compensation you deserve for your losses.  

The Virginia Beach car accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been litigating personal injury cases since 1985. To schedule your free case evaluation with a member of our legal team, contact us today at (833) 997-1774. 

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