Road Rage

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Road rage is aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even deaths. It can be thought of as an extreme case of aggressive driving. The term supposedly originated in the USA during the 1980s.

Manifestation

The following are common manifestations of road rage:

In the U.S., more than 300 cases of road rage annually have ended with serious injuries or even fatalities[citation needed] – 1200 incidents per year, according to the AAA Foundation study, and rising yearly throughout the six years of the study that examined police records nationally.

Legal status

A traffic jam in Poland.In some jurisdictions there may be a legal difference between "road rage" and "aggressive driving." In the U.S., only a few states have enacted special aggressive driving laws, where road rage cases — about 1,200 a year — are normally prosecuted as assault and battery (with or without a vehicle), or "vehicular manslaughter" (if someone is killed).

Road rage as a medical condition

As early as 1997, therapists in the United States were working to certify road rage as a medical condition. It is already an official mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.[citation needed] According to an article published by the Associated Press in June 2006, the behaviors typically associated with road rage are the result of intermittent explosive disorder.[citation needed] This conclusion was drawn from surveys of some 9,200 adults in the United States between 2001 and 2003 and was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. The cause of intermittent explosive disorder has not been described to date. There are differing views on whether or not "road rage" is a mental issue. Regardless of whether it is or not, there are alternative solutions for overcoming this handicap.

Penalties

Road rage is a relatively serious act: It may be seen as an endangerment of public safety. It is, however, not always possible to judge intent by external observation, so "road ragers" who are stopped by police may be charged only with relatively minor offences such as careless or reckless driving.[citation needed]

It is likely that those causing serious injury or death during "road rage" incidents will suffer more serious penalties than those applicable to similar outcomes from simple negligence. In April 2007, a Colorado driver was convicted of first-degree murder for causing the deaths of two motorists in November 2005. He will serve a mandatory sentence of two consecutive life terms.

Only 14 U.S. states have passed laws against aggressive driving. Only one state, California, has turned "road rage" into a legal term of art by giving it a particular meaning.

U.S. rankings

A 2007 study of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas concluded that the cities with the least courteous drivers (most road rage) are Miami, Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. The cities with the most courteous drivers (least road rage) are Minneapolis, Nashville, St. Louis, Seattle, and Atlanta. In 2009, New York, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Atlanta and Minneapolis/St. Paul were rated the top five "Road Rage Capitals" of the United States.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_rage

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