Drivers who engage in dangerous and aggressive behavior like tailgating, red-light running and weaving between lanes cause more than half of the fatal traffic accidents in Ohio and around the country. That was the conclusion reached by researchers from the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety after studying more than 10,000 road rage incidents. The study also suggests that the problem will be very difficult to solve. When the road safety advocacy group surveyed drivers about the issue, almost 90% of them said that aggressive and dangerous driving threatened their personal safety. However, almost eight out of 10 of them admitted to engaging in this kind of behavior during the previous 12 months.
Young male drivers
Psychologists who have studied road rage found that young male drivers are the demographic group most likely to be involved in these incidents. The data suggests that men are about three times more likely than women to confront other road users or intentionally strike another vehicle, and it also reveals that this kind of behavior is most common among motorists between the ages of 25 and 39.
Road rage incidents often have deadly consequences. According to the AAA, about 30 road users are murdered each year after getting involved in a confrontation with an aggressive driver. This is in addition to the hundreds killed in motor vehicle accidents caused by road rage. On Dec. 7, a 42-year-old Cincinnati man was critically injured when he was shot by a driver in Kenwood while he was in his GMC Yukon SUV. According to media reports, police believe the shooter was enraged over a traffic incident at the time.
Lawmakers should take action
Dozens of states have passed laws to deal with road rage and impose harsh sentences on motorists who harass and intimidate other road users, but Ohio is not one of them. Enraged drivers in the Buckeye State who harm others can be charged with assault or homicide and may face personal injury lawsuits, but the size of the problem suggests that more needs to be done.