Many Florida drivers find Spring Break traffic incredibly frustrating. It’s as if the tourism season goes out with a bang every year. The aggravation of sitting in traffic or dealing with motorist who don’t know where they are going is probably mounting. Just remember, aggressive driving behaviors lead to a higher risk of car accidents in Miami, Palm Beach, and elsewhere in the state.
Our Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys want to remind motorists to keep their cool in order to survive the next few weeks without incident.
A recent article in Yahoo News reported that aggressive driving and road rage can be controlled with education and the right amount of understanding.
The article gives two recent examples of how an aggressive driver caused serious bodily harm to another after a fit of rage. The first, a man punched a small woman who was standing in a parking spot as she saved it for her boyfriend, leaving the woman in a coma. Parts of her skull have been removed in order to reduce swelling. The second incident resulted in tragedy when a woman, after cutting in front of another motorist and began tapping on her brakes, was shot in a parking lot. Both drivers had pulled into the parking lot to settle the dispute when the second driver pulled out a gun and shot the driver who had cut her off.
Studies have shown that motorist react to aggressive driving behavior instead of just letting it roll off of them. Road & Travel Magazine reports the results of a survey. They found that 34% of drivers honk their horn, 27% yell, and 19% give the finger to an aggressive driver.
Another 17% flash their headlights. There were 7% of drivers who admitted to retaliating by doing the same aggressive behavior back to the aggressor, and 2% admitted to trying to run the other driver off the road after being a victim of aggressive behavior.
As humans, we all feel we have personal space of which we are territorial. Our vehicle is just an extension of that. So when another motorist cuts us off we feel our space has been invaded and the common reaction is to retaliate. The AAA study found that the inability to separate our feelings about the aggressor, congested roadways, or failing to obey traffic laws and signs all play a role in aggressive behaviors. Our mood, feelings of drowsiness, comfort level, and stress level also play an important role when it comes to road rage.
We have all been there, especially this time of year. State Senator Mike Bennett may have one possible solution to help reduce some incidents related to road rage. According to WTSP 10 News, the Senator has proposed a bill that would require drivers to stay out of the far left lane on two or more lane streets and interstates. Though the amount of the fine has not been determined yet, any driver who remains in the far left lane, with the exception of passing, would be fined. Secondly, the bill proposes that drivers who drive too aggressively around motorist who aren’t getting out of the left lane will also be fined. There are more than 20 other states that already have a similar law in place. Senator Bennett is hopeful that the new law would reduce road rage, reduce crowding on congested interstates, and lure motorists to be more courteous to other drivers if they know they will be fined.
If you have been involved in a road rage accident in South Florida, or a victim of an aggressive driving accident in West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez for legal assistance. Call 1-800-529-2368 to make a free appointment to discuss your rights.