Wrong-Way Crashes in Wichita

Wrong-way crashes can be among the most injurious and devastating of all accidents. Wrong-way drivers often cause head-on collisions, which generate significant force – and can therefore cause significant injuries. Victims of wrong-way collision injuries have important legal rights. With the legal advice of a Wichita car accident attorney, accident victims will be better able to access the compensation to which they are legally entitled.

A wrong-way crash that devastated a Sabetha family

The community of Sabetha, Kansas learned just how tragic the consequences of wrong-way drivers can be. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Ukele family was driving home from the state football championship, where they had watched two Ukele brothers help bring the Sabetha High School football team a state championship title over Marysville. The boys’ parents, younger sister, and uncle were driving home from the championship game when a wrong-way driver attempted to pass a vehicle in the opposite lane. Their mother, who was driving, swerved to avoid a head-on collision. She was killed in the ensuing accident, along with the boys’ younger sister and uncle. Their father was in stable condition after having multiple surgeries.

This horrible accident demonstrates how dangerous wrong-way drivers can be, even when they do not hit another vehicle directly. The unpredictable actions of a wrong-way driver can cause other road users to act unpredictably, as well. This is particularly dangerous when ice or snow makes the roads even more slippery, or when nighttime driving or weather conditions decrease visibility.

Other conditions which can increase the likelihood of Wrong-way driving

Wrong-way driving can be attributed to dangerous driving behavior, such as not paying attention to road signs or driving while impaired. This is what happened in one fatal accident on the Kansas Turnpike. According to The Wichita Eagle, four people were killed when an SUV traveled northbound in the southbound lanes of traffic. Its driver was found to have a blood alcohol level of .22. This is nearly three times the legal limit set forth by Section 8-1567 of the Kansas Statutes.

In another wrong-way crash in Wichita, an 81-year-old driver became caught in the wrong lanes of traffic on an exit of Interstate 135. KAKE reports that another car was unable to avoid a head-on collision with the wrong-way driver. Both drivers were taken to a nearby medical center for treatment. Senior drivers have additional medical and vision requirements in order to obtain a driver’s license, and these are explained by the Kansas Department of Revenue. While many senior drivers are perfectly capable of safe driving, it is important to understand the physical changes of age which can affect driving abilities, potentially leading to wrong-way driving.

These and many other causes contribute to wrong-way accidents in the Wichita area. It is important to determine the legal cause of a wrong-way accident in order to determine who was legally negligent and thus obligated to compensate victims for their injuries. A Wichita car accident attorney can help you determine all potential contributing factors to a wrong-way accident.

Wichita Drivers More Likely to Crash in Rural Areas

Decades of research have provided valuable insight into the risk factors for auto accidents. With effective planning and safe driving habits, drivers can effectively mitigate these risks to reduce their chances of being involved in a car accident.

Now, new research has uncovered a new risk factor: driving in rural areas. Learn more about how you can use this research to prevent car accidents. When accidents do occur, an experienced Wichita car accident attorney can protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.

Why Rural Accidents Are More Likely To Be Fatal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported on the findings of a study into accidents rates in rural v. urban areas. This study reported that, in 2015, only 19 percent of the population of the United States lived in rural areas, yet almost 60 percent of motor vehicle deaths reported that year occurred on rural roads. The number of crashes in urban areas was found to be higher, but rural accidents were far more likely to cause fatal injuries. This was found to be related to seat belt use, which was highest in urban counties and lowest in rural counties. Seat belt use was also higher in primary enforcement states (in which failure to use a seat belt is a separate offense for which an officer may stop and cite a driver) than secondary enforcement states (in which an officer may only cite a driver for failure to use a seat belt after another violation has been observed).

Seat belt use is a significant predictor of whether auto accident injuries will be fatal. Many studies over several decades have consistently demonstrated that seat belts save lives. An estimated 64,000 lives were saved by seat belts in the United States just between 2011 and 2015. Kansas law also requires drivers and occupants of vehicles to wear seat belts (see Kansas Statutes § 8-2503). There are very limited exceptions to this law. Keep your family safe by implementing family rules for seat belt use in the car. Teens, especially, should have driving privileges which are strictly contingent on seat belt use and other safe driving behaviors. Children should be placed in car seats and booster seats which are appropriately sized to their age and weight. Continue moving the child up to the next appropriate size as he or she grows. Until the age of twelve, children should never ride in a front seat, due to the risk of injury from the passenger airbag.

Speeding is also a significant predictor of fatal injuries, and it is more likely to occur on rural roads with few speeding enforcement mechanisms. The National Center for Biotechnology Information published a longitudinal review of studies which measured the efficacy of automated enforcement technology programs. Of twenty-eight studies reviewed, every single one reported a lower number of crashes after implementation of a speed enforcement technology program. Bloomberg reports that such technologies are widely acknowledged to be an effective deterrent to speeding, but that they are currently only used in fourteen states and the District of Columbia. Their efficacy has caused the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend that states remove laws which prohibit the use of such technologies.   

An experienced Wichita auto accident attorney will protect your legal rights after any auto accident, and hold negligent drivers responsible for their dangerous behavior so that no one else is hurt by it.

Utilizing Commercial Truck Safety Technology Can Prevent Crashes In Kansas

The damage caused by Truck accidents can be severe. In order ensure road safety, the Kansas Corporation Commission have put strict regulations in place to for commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Mechanical regulations include, but are not limited to, safety hitches, trailer braking systems, tire conditions, and periodic inspections.

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, 3,195 commercial truck crashes occurred in 2016, resulting in 74 deaths and 934 injuries. In 2015 alone, 400,000 truck accidents occurred nationwide, resulting in 4,067 deaths and 116,000 injuries. Despite the current regulations in place, more safeguards could be implemented.

Adding Safety Technology to Commercial Trucks

A recent study by AAA determined that incorporating safety technology in large trucks has an enormous impact on crash prevention. Such technology includes lane departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking, air disc braking, and video-based onboard safety monitoring systems. Lane departure warning systems are designed to keep drivers from veering out of their lane. AAA projects that this technology can prevent up to 6,372 crashes, 1,342 injuries, and 115 deaths per year.

According a Truckinginfo article, only 6 percent of commercial trucks are equipped with onboard video monitoring systems. This video-based technology is designed to monitor truck safety as well as the driver’s performance. AAA projects that this technology alone can prevent up to 63,000 crashes, 17,733 injuries, and 293 deaths per year.

Automatic emergency braking is designed to stop a vehicle without any action taken by the driver. AAA determines that it can prevent 5,294 crashes, 2,753 injuries, and 115 deaths per year. Lastly, air disc brakes provide a higher caliber of stopping power than standard pad brakes. When implemented on commercial trucks, this braking technology can prevent up to 2,411 crashes, 1,447 injuries, and 293 deaths per years.

If You’re Involved In a Truck Accident, Take No Chances

Following any motor vehicle accident, there are a number of actions you should take. Always secure the scene to ensure your safety and the safety of any other drivers involved. If you’re involved in a commercial truck crash in the state of Kansas, then take no chances. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer who will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Rear-End and Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Wichita

Semi-trucks, eighteen-wheelers, tractor-trailers and other heavy vehicles are known to cause severe injuries to car accident victims. Smaller, lighter vehicles have less momentum, and are therefore a less powerful mechanism of injury. Regardless of the severity of injuries sustained, car accident victims have the legal right to be compensated for their injuries and losses.

An experienced Wichita rear-end collision attorney will protect this right.

Losses Caused by a Simple Rear-End Collision

Kansans experienced a poignant reminder of the severity of truck accidents in July, when a rear-end collision caused one death and left four vehicles completely destroyed in the resulting fire. Several other vehicles were also burned. According to The Wichita Eagle, Antonio DiFranco was driving a large tractor-trailer through a construction zone on the I-435 when traffic slowed ahead of him. DiFranco was reportedly following other vehicles too closely. He failed to control his speed, causing him to crash into the Isuzu Trooper in front of him. The Trooper caught on fire and its driver was severely burned. The tractor-trailer then came to a stop next to a large vehicle transport truck. Flames from the crash reached the transport truck, and three Dodge 3500 trucks on the transport were destroyed by fire. A fifth vehicle nearby was also destroyed in the fire. Fortunately, its occupant was helped out of her vehicle by bystanders, and she escaped without injury.

Nearly a month later, the driver of the Trooper succumbed to his injuries and died as a result of the burns. In a case such as this, it is possible that DiFranco’s employer could bear some liability for the accident. If DiFranco were not properly trained, or was forced to work too many hours without appropriate rest breaks, or if he had a bad driving record which should have precluded his employment altogether, the transportation company which employed him could be found to be legally responsible for causing the accident. A case such as this can also result in a significant award for pain and suffering. The driver of the Trooper spent his last month of life in excruciating pain from severe burn injuries. He was confined to the hospital, heavily medicated, and these are all compensable injuries which can be paid to the driver’s estate. While this may be a poor substitute for the pain that accompanied the man’s death, it is a legal right which he and his surviving family are owed, and one which is worthy of fighting for.

How Wichita Drivers Can Stay Safe Around Trucks

Large trucks are more likely to be involved in accidents, and they cause more damage when they do. Reduce your chances of being involved in a truck accident by taking appropriate precautions when driving near a truck or big rig. Always leave plenty of following distance, as large, heavy trucks require greater stopping distance to avoid obstacles in the road. Ensure you are seen by using your signals and headlights to alert truck drivers to your presence.

In Kansas, there is a “rebuttable presumption in favor of plaintiff” in rear-end collisions. This means that it is reasonable to assume that the rear driver is at-fault in a rear-end crash. Defendants can present evidence in an attempt to prove why they were not at-fault, but generally, motorists have a duty to maintain a reasonable distance from the vehicle ahead. A failure to do in an accident can be grounds to establish that the rear driver is responsible.

Together, drivers of trucks and passenger vehicles can make the roads of Wichita safer for everyone.

Teen Drivers Face Risks on the Roads of Western Kansas

Teen drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents than older, more experienced drivers. This simple statistic results in tragic injuries and deaths which devastate teens and their families. Luckily, following basic rules for safe driving can help mitigate the risk of being involved in a car accident. And when wrecks do occur, an experienced Wichita car accident attorney can help those who are injured get the compensation they deserve.

Teen Accident Statistics and Kansas Cases

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. In 2015, a total of 2,333 teens aged sixteen to nineteen were killed in motor vehicle collisions. That means that six teens died every day as a result of motor vehicle injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration further reports that teens are the largest age group of drivers who report themselves to be distracted at the time of an accident.   

These statistics are more than hypothetical theories. Kansas teens are killed in car accidents, and this devastates the lives of Western Kansas families. Such was the case for the community of Anthony, Kansas. ABC KAKE reports that two teens were involved in rollover accident outside of Anthony. The driver failed to maneuver a turn. The passenger, sixteen, was ejected from the 1995 pickup truck and killed. He was about the start his junior year of high school at Chaparral High School. KSN reports on a similar accident in Hodgeman County that claimed the life of a nineteen-year-old passenger from Dodge City. KSN reports that the driver, also nineteen, survived, but passenger Nicolas Velasques-Ortiz succumbed to his injuries.

Safe Driving Tips for Teens

There are lessons to be learned from these grim statistics and tragic accidents. First, teen drivers are particularly vulnerable to distractions which divert attention from the task of driving. Second, inexperience also makes teen drivers more likely to lose control of their vehicles, and less able to regain control once it is lost. These problems can be addressed with family involvement and safe driving rules:

  • Combat your teen driver’s inexperience with driver’s education courses and practical experience. The more time a parent spends observing and instructing a teen’s driving, the better he or she can teach a teen how to respond to the wide variety of scenarios all drivers must face.
  • Enact and enforce clear guidelines for the use of technology in the vehicle. Teen drivers should be banned from surfing the internet or texting while driving. Emergency calls should only be placed when the vehicle is stopped. Whenever possible, teens should keep their smartphones out of arm’s reach in the vehicle, so they are not tempted to use them. Navigation systems should be programmed with the destination before the vehicle starts moving.  

The Kansas Division of Vehicles offers a detailed description of Kansas graduated driver’s license laws, as outlined in K.S.A. 8-234b.

With practical experience and good driving habits, the roads of Kansas can be made safe for all teen drivers.  

Children Vulnerable in Wichita Car Accidents

Parents work hard to protect our children every day. So it is scary to think that a child’s risk of serious injury or death is extremely high for an activity as mundane and commonplace as getting into a car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that of the 33,000 people who die in U.S. motor vehicle collisions every year, 1,150 are children under the age of 14. In fact, car wrecks are the No. 1 cause of death for 4-year-old children and the No. 2 cause of death for 3-year-olds and children ages 5 to 14. Every single day, three children are killed and 470 injured in the U.S.

Recently three children and one adult were seriously injured in a crash near the Wichita airport. An SUV heading northbound and a passenger car heading eastbound onto a ramp collided at an intersection. The three children, ages 2, 7, and 9, were riding in the passenger car. They were rushed to a nearby hospital, two of them in critical condition. The woman and the third child were in serious condition.

Any time a child is injured in a motor vehicle collision, it’s wise to consult with a Wichita car accident attorney. Medical bills can be overwhelming, and fighting insurance companies is the last thing parents need to worry about during the traumatizing and painful aftermath of a wreck.

Child Crash Injuries are Preventable

While child car accidents are down significantly from what they used to be a few decades ago, they are still a serious problem confronting many families on U.S. roads.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reports that 150 children are treated in emergency departments every hour. That includes children ranging in age from infants all the way up to 19.

One of the most important things you can do to keep children safe during a wreck is to ensure that they are in the appropriate type of car seat.

The CDC recommends:

  • Birth-to-age-2: Rear-facing car seat.
  • Age 2 to around Age 5: Forward-facing car seat.
  • Age 5 until the seat belt fits properly: Booster seat.
  • Once seat belt fits properly without a booster seat: Seat belt.

The proper restraints need to be used each and every time, for every trip, no matter how short the distance.

Damages for Child Car Accidents in Wichita

Damages for crash cases involving children can be quite substantial, depending on the circumstances.

When it comes to seeking compensation for children injured in car accident, it should be noted that Kansas is one of about a dozen U.S. states that follows the no-fault system.  This system means that when a Kansas driver is injured in a motor vehicle accident, his or her own insurance pays a portion of the initial medical bills and lost wages. These benefits, called “personal injury protection,” or “PIP” also extend to members of the insured driver’s household – including their children.

PIP minimums include:

  • $4,500 per individual for medical expenses;
  • $900 monthly for a full year for disability/ loss of income;
  • $25/day for in-home services;
  • $2,000 funeral or burial expenses;
  • $4,500 for rehabilitative expenses.

In addition to PIP coverage, a child who is injured in a wreck also has a right to see compensation from the at-fault driver. This can include claims for past and future medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering.

If you have questions about your child’s injury in a Kansas car accident, let us help.

Kansas Wrongful Death at Carnival Underscores Urgency of Oversight

Amusement parks, carnivals and fairs are plentiful in summertime. Given that these events and rides are open to the public, site owners and ride operators owe a duty of care to ensure both are reasonably safe, and that the public is warned of any dangers that may not be open and obvious.

When a 10-year-old boy was killed on a water slide in Kansas City last year, calls for stricter regulations of Kansas amusement parks gained steam. Spurred to action by the tragedy, lawmakers passed a bill requiring operators of amusement park rides in Kansas to meet more stringent rules. However, the Kansas Senate and soon after the House approved a bill that postpones the law from fully taking effect, giving amusement park operators more time to fall in line.

This decision came just weeks after a toddler in Wichita was electrocuted after touching metal fencing outside a bounce house. The fencing had come in contact with electrical wires from the bounce house. Such incidents are not unheard of, as the Wichita Eagle reported. About a decade ago in Pennsylvania, a boy suffered a (fortunately) minor shock when he grabbed onto a carnival fence ride. Turns out one of the heavy-duty wires used to power the rides had come in contact with the fence, causing it to becomes electrified. Although it was a new wire, investigators later found a cut in it.

Risk of Electrocution at Carnivals

Risk of electric shock has also been proven to occur when carnival staffers route large wires along curbs and in the gutters in order to prevent people from tripping on them. Eliminating trip-and-fall hazards is important, but the risk is if there is a rain (as often occurs in the summer), those wires are suddenly underwater, and the water serves as a conductor, putting anyone who comes in contact with it at risk of a deadly shock. The fencing that delivered the fatal shock to the 15-month-old girl outside the bounce house was carrying 290 volts of electricity.

Although one carnival operator told the Eagle reporter one “just never knows when something like this can happen,” that’s not entirely true. There is precedent for these kind of incidents, and inspectors can carry hand-held devices to test fencing and equipment for shock risks. It’s not necessarily enough to test fencing or equipment a single time either, particularly at fairs or carnivals, where equipment is frequently moved, altered or suddenly broken down.

A single nick in a wire can result in electrification of everything it touches. Wires that are bunched are also at risk of heat damage.

Regulating Carnival Safety

As our Wichita injury lawyers know, carnival regulation varies widely from state-to-state. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates how amusement rides are manufactured, but there is no federal oversight in how the rides and equipment are set up, maintained and operated.

In addition to wires and water slides, problems have been cited with inflatable bounce houses, which too often aren’t properly tethered to the ground. Kansas has relatively light regulation of amusement parks in comparison to other states, but the new regulations should help to bolster public protections.

When injuries or death occurs at these sites, it may be grounds for litigation.

To Avoid Negligent Security Claims, Universities Ban Guns at Games

Starting this summer, the three biggest universities in Kansas will be allowed to ban firearms at large sporting events. That’s thanks to a ruling by the Kansas Board of Regents’ governance committee, which approved the schools’ requests for this and other security measures, including:

  • Metal detectors;
  • Guards;
  • Cameras.

These measures could be installed either temporarily or permanently, on the school’s discretion.

Such actions can be construed as an effort by these schools to avoid liability on grounds of negligent security.

Negligent security is a type of premises liability that deals with civil redress for violence and criminal acts. While it might seem odd to hold third parties accountable for the crimes of another, it’s actually a fairly common cause of action when the owner of a property has failed to provide proper security, putting guests, tenants and customers at risk.

A person who is injured can file a lawsuit for negligent security in Wichita, Kansas if the landowner/ possessors of a property had a duty to offer reasonable security to protect lawful visitors from suffering foreseeable crimes of others. A claim of negligent security assumes that a crime was likely to have been prevented or at least made less likely had the property owner undertaken certain appropriate measures of security.

While it is possible to take legal action in civil court against the person who committed the violent crime, it’s generally easier for the victim to locate the owner/ possessor of a property and beyond that, the property owner is more likely to have an adequate amount of insurance against which a judgment may be enforced. That means you have an actual shot at recovering damages.

The move by universities in Kansas was spurred by a new law that will as of July 1st require them to allow concealed handguns on their campuses – unless they install both armed guards and metal detectors. Providing security throughout the campus would be cost-prohibitive, the universities say. However, providing such protections at games will at least allow them to quell rowdy and potentially violent interactions. School officials also noted the fact that these events draw large crowds.

The Kansas State Athletics Department is reportedly planning to spend approximately $1 million, according to ESPN. That money will primarily be spent protecting the venues for the upcoming football and basketball games. Approximately 70 metal detectors for those games are going to cost $450,000, and the rest will go to pay extra security.

Wichita State, meanwhile, plans to spend about $72,000 for 20 metal detectors, though a spokesman for the school was unsure how much it would cost to pay additional security staff.

The schools also said they would likely be paying for additional security at ceremonies for graduation.

Supporters of the new law had tried to bolster it this spring by taking away the schools’ right to make any regulations pertaining to where and how people can carry guns, but so far, that bill has not gained sufficient traction.

The question of what constitutes as “adequate security” may vary from case-to-case based on the type of venue and prior criminal incidents/ complaints. Some basic forms of security that are generally considered standard include:

  • Functioning locks;
  • Appropriate lighting;
  • Adequately-trained security/ patrols.

If you have been injured in a criminal attack on property owned by another, our injury lawyers can help you navigate your legal options.

Should There be Stricter Penalties for Hit-and-Run Accidents in Wichita?

Families who have lost loved ones in Kansas hit-and-run accidents are pressing for tougher laws to penalize offenders, and hopefully make these incidents less common.

In 2011, Kansas adopted new laws pertaining to hit-and-run accidents. Hit-and-run became a felony with “presumptive jail-time,” which meant a hit-and-run driver found guilty would be presumed to be deserving of incarceration unless proven otherwise.

Despite this change, which made penalties stricter, many families do not believe the laws punishing hit-and-run drivers are strict enough or impose sufficient penalties on motorists who leave the scene of collisions.

If a motorist leaves a crash site, this can result in delays in victims getting help. Sometimes, the consequences of these delays are fatal or the victim suffers more permanent injury. When a motorist leaves the scene of a crash, it can also impact an investigation into the accident. For example, if police don’t find the driver until days or weeks or months later, it will no longer be possible to test the driver’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of the collision.

Hit-and-run accidents not only impact criminal cases, but can also affect the rights of injured victims and families of people killed in crashes. Victims should normally be able to make a claim for compensation from a driver who caused an accident, but will be unable to do so if a driver isn’t found after a hit-and-run.

Typically, in these cases, victims’ primary avenue for compensation is uninsured motorist coverage, which they obtain from their own insurer.

KAKE recently published an article on several families who have lost loved ones due to accidents which involved hit-and-run drivers.  One such accident in 2014 was fatal. The family of the man who was killed was angry it took two years for police to arrest the driver. They were even angrier when the driver wasn’t charged with killing the crash victim, but instead only faced penalties for driving away from the scene of a crash causing injury.

The district attorney’s office didn’t charge the driver with killing someone because the DA’s office concluded they did not have sufficient evidence to make a case for homicide.  While driving away from the scene of an injury accident is a felony offense, the driver was sentenced to just 30 days in jail. He actually ended up serving only two days before he was put on work-release for the remainder of his 30-day sentence. The family of the victim was understandably outraged.

The brother of the victim said, “I feel the sentence was a slap on the wrist. I still don’t think that was necessarily a good enough sentence for hiding for two years and not coming forward.”

This family wasn’t the only one angry about the penalties imposed on a hit-and-run driver. Another mother whose son was killed while he was walking along the road was told the driver of the deadly hit-and-run would likely get probation only and serve no jail time. The mother lamented this sentence was “not fair.”

The DA’s office indicates there is nothing they can do when there is no evidence a crime was committed, because there is nothing to charge someone with except hit-and-run if the driver leaves the scene but didn’t actually do anything else wrong.  However, as KAKE indicates, families believe stricter hit-and-run penalties would be better because at least imposing a stricter sentence could be more of a deterrent.

Wichita Drivers at Risk of Crashes Caused by Aggressive Driving

A tragic motor vehicle accident occurred in Kansas recently when five members of a family who were traveling together in a van were killed after a tractor-trailer hit the family car head-on. KAKE.com reports that the deadly collision happened when one tractor-trailer was trying to pass another big truck.

The incident happened shortly after 8 PM on a Saturday. The tractor-trailer driver who was trying to pass reportedly crossed the center lane, killing the 29-year old van driver as well as four children who were riding in the van. The truck driver was also taken to the hospital with injuries, and KAKE indicated it was not yet clear whether or not charges would be brought against the driver.

Unfortunately, passing in an unsafe way is a leading example of aggressive driving behavior that can cause motor vehicle accidents to happen. As many as 80 percent of all drivers engage in some type of dangerous behavior behind the wheel out of anger, frustration, or rage at some time over the course of the year, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. When drivers make the choice to let their anger overrule their common sense and they do something dangerous while driving, the outcome can be tragic – as this collision shows.

Passing when it’s not safe is just one of many different kinds of common aggressive driving behavior that can lead to crashes. When AAA surveyed drivers about their behaviors behind the wheel over the course of the year prior to taking the survey, AAA discovered that:

  • 51 percent of drivers tailgated on purpose
  • 47 percent of drivers yelled at another motorist
  • 45 percent of drives honked in order to express their anger or annoyance at other motorists
  • 33 percent of motorists made angry gestures
  • 24 percent of drivers tried to stop other vehicles from changing lanes
  • 12 percent of motorists cut off another car intentionally out of anger
  • Four percent of drivers actually got out of their car to confront another motorist
  • Three percent of drivers bumped into, or rammed into, another vehicle intentionally

When motorists engage in these behaviors, or unsafe passing, the risks of a collision can increase substantially. When AAA studied auto accidents from 2003 through 2007, they found close to half of all collisions that occurred involved at least one of the drivers doing a potentially aggressive action leading up to the accident.

The risk of a serious collision that could cause loss of life is not worth it. Any motorist who finds himself getting angry needs to take steps to calm down, such as taking deep breathes or counting to 10. Sure, other drivers can be annoying, but it’s important to drive defensively. Motorists should remember that it only takes one time to cause a devastating crash, and a collision can happen in a second. Don’t take the chance and give in to road rage or let aggression control your driving behavior, because your actions might change lives forever.