Road rage incidents are becoming alarmingly common in Pennsylvania and around the country. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that the number of fatal accidents involving angry and aggressive drivers rose from just 80 in 2006 to more than 450 in 2015, and a study conducted by the advocacy group Trace indicates that incidents involving drivers brandishing firearms at other road users have more than doubled since 2014.
The results of a survey into aggressive driving from the Automobile Association of America indicate that the problem is extremely widespread. Almost eight out of 10 of the motorists polled by the AAA admitted to succumbing to anger while behind the wheel during the previous 12 months, and about half of them said that they curse at other road users or deliberately tailgate motorists who they deem to be driving too slowly. Almost a quarter of the respondents told researchers that they routinely slow down of speed up to prevent other drivers from changing lanes or merging, and 12% admitted to intentionally cutting other vehicles off.
Experts have blamed the rise in road rage on stress, lack of sleep and a rising sense of entitlement among Americans. Cellphone use may also be playing a role as drivers often become irate when another motorist behaves dangerously because they are looking at a screen instead of paying attention to the road.
Motorists may find it especially difficult to contain themselves after being involved in a car crash caused by a negligent driver. Experienced personal injury attorneys would likely urge drivers who plan to take legal action to remain calm in this situation as angry outbursts or violent behavior could be difficult to explain in court.