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Road rage accidents are a growing epidemic

Driving can be stressful, and not just because you have to focus on things like merging onto the interstate or following the speed limit. It is becoming more and more likely that you will encounter an angry driver while on your morning commute or running errands around town. It is these angry drivers who are causing an increase in road rage accidents.

While vehicles can cause a lot of damage, they are not the only thing that angry drivers use to threaten or intimidate other drivers. According to the nonprofit news organization The Trace, drivers are brandishing and firing guns at other drivers and passengers. It tracked at least 325 of these incidents between January and June 2017.

Most drivers get angry

In 2016, approximately 80% of drivers told the American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety that they had engaged in road rage, anger or serious aggression at least one time over the past year. This means that you have probably encountered a lot of angry drivers on the road. Here are some common road rage behaviors you might have witnessed:

  • Tailgating
  • Yelling at other drivers
  • Honking to show anger
  • Making rude gestures

You may feel very frustrated when you see another driver engaging in these behaviors. However, there are even more dangerous road rage habits that you should watch out for. Of all drivers, 49 million -- or 24% -- purposely block other vehicles from making lane changes. Of these, 12% intentionally cut off other drivers. And perhaps most frightening are the 6 million drivers who have rammed other cars out of anger.

Is everyone just really tired?

Busy schedules and the pressures of balancing home and work life is stressing people out. As adults in Illinois do their best to cram more and more responsibilities into their lives, something has to give. That something is usually sleep.

A lot of people do not think that getting too little sleep is an issue, and that is becoming a big problem. Sleep deprivation is actually an epidemic in America. Not getting enough sleep makes people more than just cranky; it also makes them dangerous behind the wheel. A driver who misses out on as little as one hour of sleep is just as dangerous as a drunk driver.

There is no avoiding angry drivers

One in three Americans are chronically sleep deprived, and 80% of drivers regularly engage in road rage behaviors. Because of this, it might be impossible to avoid angry drivers. This can be very frightening, especially since you always try to keep your cool behind the wheel.

Maybe you did your best to drive courteously, but this was not enough to avoid the wreck. Because of another driver's anger or reckless behavior, you are now suffering physically, financially and even emotionally. Recovery can be difficult without the right help, but an attorney who is knowledgeable about road rage accidents can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation in Illinois.

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