Colorado Cracks Down On Raging Drivers
There are more drivers on the road today than ever before. That is no doubt part of the reason that, after years of declines, traffic deaths have been on the rise for the past two years. In fact, despite all of the advancements in automotive technology and increased safety standards, more than 40,000 people died on the country’s roadways last year, a 10-year high.
Road Rage or Aggressive Driving?
One of the catalysts for the sudden reversal is the disturbing uptick in aggressive driving and incidents of road rage, events drivers witness nearly every day. It is important to keep in mind that while most of us use those terms interchangeably, the federal government makes a clear distinction between them.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Aggressive driving is when an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses that endangers other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.” These can encompass any number of traffic violations, such as speeding and tailgating, things that would normally earn you a ticket and may cause major accidents and injury.
Road rage, on the other hand, is more than an extreme case of aggressive driving. It is a criminal offense that can get an offender sent to jail. The term dates to late 1980s Los Angeles news reports about a series of freeway shootings. It is, in short, when someone commits an act of violence against a fellow driver. Examples of this include using a motor vehicle as a weapon, engaging in a reckless chase with another driver, or someone leaving their vehicle with a weapon to approach another driver.
Anger Can Lead to Accidents
Car accidents consistently rank as one of the leading preventable causes of death in the United States. It also regularly ranks at or near the top of on-the-job deaths. Since more than two-thirds of motor vehicle accidents involve some form of aggressive driving, it is clear that this is one of the more preventable causes of traffic fatalities When you consider that roughly half of road rage “recipients” respond with aggressive behavior of their own, it is no wonder these incidents can devolve so quickly into the viral videos that have flooded the Internet.
Extensive research over the last few years have painted a much clearer picture of what a road rage driver looks like, and when you’re most likely to find him:
- On a daily basis, 56 percent of men and 44 percent of women admit to raging at other drivers.
- The most typical expression of road rage is shouting, usually with curse words.
- The biggest “causes” of road rage, according to offenders, are distracted drivers, getting cut off in traffic, and other aggressive drivers.
- Sundays in June are the safest times to hit the road if you are trying to avoid road ragers.
- The most common road rage offender is a 35-50-year-old man driving a blue BMW on a Tuesday in September, near the tail end of rush hour.
In Colorado, authorities have noticed a disturbing trend: angrier drivers, and a lot more of them. The amount of road rage incidents in the Denver metro area alone are up 22 percent so far over the last year. With so many people moving to Colorado – more than 7,500 people a month – and a General Assembly unwilling to pass legislation to address the state’s deteriorating roads, things will probably get worse before they get better.
It is increasingly clear that you are far more likely to be injured in a car accident in Colorado by someone driving aggressively than for any other reason. In the aftermath of such an event, you need extensively experienced guidance from a law firm like Burg Simpson and a Denver injury attorney that has been fighting for car accident victims for over 40 years.
If you have been injured in a car accident by someone driving aggressively, contact a Denver personal injury lawyer now by calling Burg Simpson at 303-792-5595 or request your free consultation online today!