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Road rage fatalities increase by 500% over 10 years

Drivers in New York may have read about the many road rage incidents that occurred across the country during the summer of 2019. Newspapers reported that a Wisconsin woman was shot after a minor car accident while teaching her son to drive. In Alabama, a woman reportedly tried to shoot another driver during a road rage incident and instead shot her husband. A Houston couple and their children were severely injured when another driver shot their car and ignited the fireworks being carried inside.

These summer incidents were not unusual. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Administration, fatal car crashes related to aggressive driving have risen almost 500% during the past 10 years. In 2006, there were 80 such accidents; in 2015, 467 aggressive driving fatalities were reported. Other studies have found similar statistics that are concerning. A 2016 poll from the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 80% of drivers had behaved aggressively while driving at least once during the past year.

Experts believe that stress is partially to blame. Balancing work, family and community responsibilities often drain the patience from drivers. Not getting enough sleep may also contribute to road rage. Getting enough sleep at night and using techniques to reduce stress may help decrease road rage incidents in the future.

Road rage incidents cause hundreds of accidents each year. Before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, drivers have the responsibility to ensure that they are well-rested and in the proper state of mind. If an accident occurs due to aggressive driving, the negligent driver may be responsible for damages. In this case, a driver who didn’t get enough sleep may have acted out by driving aggressively and causing an accident. A lawyer may be able to file a civil claim to collect medical and compensatory damages for the injured parties.