Road rage is a significant problem

Many Connecticut drivers may be among an overwhelming majority of respondents who reported serious road rage, aggression or anger in the past year in a 2016 survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study also found that 90 percent of drivers thought their safety was endangered by aggressive drivers and that almost two-thirds thought drivers were growing more aggressive.

Drivers who were ages 19-39 and male drivers were among the most likely to drive aggressively. Drivers in the Northeast were also more likely to be aggressive than those from other parts of the country in terms of yelling, honking or gesturing at other motorists. The study found that overall, 51 percent of respondents said they had tailgated on purpose and almost half said they had yelled or honked at a driver in annoyance. Around one-third said they had gestured angrily at other drivers, and just under one-fourth said they had tried to stop another car’s lane change. Leaving the car to confront a driver and deliberately running into another vehicle were reported by 4 and 3 percent respectively.

There are steps drivers can take to avoid these situations. For example, a driver should never be forced to brake or turn because of another driver’s actions. Drivers can avoid responding to any aggressive actions and should call 911 if necessary.

There are a number of reasons that people might drive carelessly including texting and driving or drunk driving, and in these cases, the driver may be considered wholly or partially at fault in an accident. Other times, a driver may simply make a minor error that causes another driver to respond aggressively. If a driver’s aggression causes an accident, that driver may be held financially responsible for any injuries and damages to other parties.