Arizona Declared the State with the Most Confrontational Drivers
When most people think about road rage incidents, they probably imagine coastal states with heavy traffic like California and Florida. Combine all that traffic with heat and a fast-paced lifestyle, and it seems like those states would surely have the most road rage. However, Forbes recently conducted a study on road rage which found that Arizona is the top in the nation for this illustrious title. More than 80% of Arizona drivers reported being yelled at, cursed out, insulted, or even threatened by other motorists on Arizona’s roadways. About one-third of Arizona drivers report having frequent road rage. Additionally, one-third of Arizona drivers report having experienced someone exit their vehicle to confront them while driving. Arizona had the second-highest rate of drivers being forced off the road at 22.5%. Approximately 51% of Arizona drivers reported having been cut off on purpose, and 56.5% reported being blocked from switching lanes by other drivers. On the flip side, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, and New Mexico have the politest drivers. Clearly, confrontational driving and road rage can make the roads less safe for Arizona drivers. If road rage has led to you being injured in a traffic accident, you may be owed compensation for your damages. To schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers in Arizona, click here or call 480-470-1504.
The Dangers of Road Rage
Anyone who drives has probably had the experience of wanting to get revenge on another driver, whether it’s because they are seemingly driving too fast or slowly, not giving appropriate signals to indicate their intentions while driving, etc. Maybe you want to flash your brights at that driver, follow them too closely, or otherwise engage in driving behavior that isn’t exactly defensive. The reason that driving instructors teach defensive driving is because it is the best way to improve safety. Maintaining the proper distance, obeying traffic signals, and looking out for other drivers can all help prevent traffic accidents.
Road rage isn’t just dangerous because it increases the likelihood of car crashes. Shootings resulting from road rage are also a concern in every state, but especially Arizona as the state with the most confrontational drivers. Road rage shootings increased 135% from 2018 to 2022 on a national level. Road rage incidents increased in Arizona from 2021 to 2022 by 36%. In 2022, there were 4.1 road rage shooting incidents in Arizona per million, the second in the nation at that time behind New Mexico. Apparently, New Mexico has drivers who are polite but also will shoot you if their road rage is bad enough.
The Reasons Behind Road Rage
Unsurprisingly, road rage incidents happen the most frequently on freeways and highways. Parking lots and intersections have similar rates of road rage incidents, and the lowest rate is observed on rural roads. The top factors cited as contributing to their road rage were heavy traffic, prior stress, running late, prior anger, and feeling tired. Because hot weather has also been shown to cause road rage, it’s not unreasonable to posit that heat contributes to Arizona being ranked number one in the nation for confrontational drivers.
Humans evolved to develop a flight-or-fight response to dangerous and stressful events. Road rage is an example of a person exhibiting the fight response when put in a flight-or-fight situation. Some people also simply have angrier temperaments than others and have a lower threshold for what will throw them into a fit of rage. If you’ve been injured in a road rage traffic accident, financial compensation could be crucial to your overall recovery. Call 480-470-1504 or click here to schedule your free appointment with our Arizona injury team.
What to Do in a Road Rage Incident
Obeying traffic laws and trying to drive in a manner that is considerate to others is a crucial part of avoiding being involved in a road rage incident. But if you let your temper slip or end up the victim of another driver’s bad mood, there are certain steps you should take to improve safety during a road rage incident. Avoid eye contact with the other driver and hand gestures that could potentially aggravate them further. Do all that you can to safely avoid engaging with the raging driver in any way. Experts recommend getting out of the driver’s way and making a turn if desired, but not to pull over the vehicle. If you believe the driver is following you, call 911. The other driver may want an excuse to pull over as well and take the confrontation outside of the vehicle. If you are in a scenario in which you have to pull over and the other driver is approaching, you should lock the doors, lay on the horn, and call 911.
Drivers who struggle with road rage should avoid driving when they are already feeling stressed, angry, or otherwise emotional. However, this isn’t always possible, and if so, you should try to maintain a more positive attitude that gives other drivers more leeway. If you give them the benefit of the doubt that their driving isn’t meant to attack you personally, you may experience fewer feelings of road rage. Make sure your car is safe and comfortable before you hit the road, whether that means checking the a/c, confirming you have enough gas, etc. Try to identify your road rage triggers and find ways to calm yourself down when they occur. If road rage is a recurring issue for you, consider seeking help from a mental health professional.
Potential Damages in an Accident Injury Claim
No one deserves to be injured in a car crash resulting from confrontation and road rage. The effects of such an accident can be debilitating and traumatic. Additionally, the other party isn’t likely to admit to road rage and come up with a fair settlement offer. The accident victim will need to calculate their own damages to demand from the other driver, which can include:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Medical expenses
- Projected future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
- Permanent injury or disability
Contact Our Arizona Injury Attorneys If You’ve Been the Victim of a Traffic Accident
Being injured in a road rage accident can cause fears that stay with you for the rest of your lifetime. You can take back the power from an aggressive driver who causes you injury by hiring a skilled personal injury team to represent you in your injury claim. A quality accident attorney should do everything in their power to yield you a high settlement agreement that fairly compensates you for your damages. Otherwise, the attorney should be prepared to passionately represent your case at trial. My AZ Lawyers has staff and attorneys who are dedicated to achieving fair outcomes in unfortunate situations. Before you speak to the other driver’s insurance provider, you should have your situation assessed by a legal professional on the plaintiff’s side. The other driver’s insurance adjuster will be looking for any possible fact that can damage your case and therefore reduce your claim’s value. A skilled injury attorney can make sure you are always protected in these interactions. To schedule your free consultation with an experienced member of our Arizona injury firm, contact us or call 480-470-1504.
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