The story of a man who survived a horrific road rage attack last spring may be considered extreme and unusual, but it's an example of a growing problem of overly aggressive drivers across America. According to NewsOK, an Oklahoma City man parked in a store parking lot, unaware that he was being followed by a man on a motorcycle. When he got out of his car, the man was confronted by the angry cyclist yelling profanities and claiming that he'd cut him off, before slashing his throat with a knife. Fortunately, the victim recovered from his injuries, but thousands of people in the U.S. each year aren't so lucky.
Research by the National Institute of Health revealed that up to seven percent of the drivers in the study showed some form of road rage behavior. In fact, much of the behavior behind road rage incidents has an official name and diagnosis: Intermittent Explosive Disorder, which can start in the teenage years and often results in out-of-proportion rage that can injure people and damage property.
Avoiding a road rage attack
Approximately 56 percent of deadly accidents in the country can be attributed to aggressive driving, says WWLP.com. Health Day says violent driving incidents have been increasing about seven percent a year since 1990. Drivers who may be prone to road rage might exhibit any of these signs:
- Speeding and weaving in and out of traffic.
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals.
- Excessive use of the horn or flashing headlights.
- Gesturing to other drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies road rage as a criminal offense, different from aggressive driving. In order to avoid becoming victims of road rage, drivers are cautioned to drive defensively, control their own behavior and avoid driving habits that can enrage others sharing the road, such as driving under the speed limit or failing to pay attention when changing lanes or turning.
Contacting an attorney
Being injured in a car accident can leave a victim with lost wages, months of recovery time and thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Tragically, many families find themselves losing a beloved family member while getting stuck with high medical and funeral costs. Those who have been affected by an aggressive driver are entitled to compensation for their pain and expenses, and should contact a personal injury attorney with experience in dealing with road rage and reckless driving cases.