We get it. Slow and incompetent drivers can be extremely irritating. But before you lose it and start excessively honking, tailgating or running red lights to get even, consider the serious consequences of road rage.
Is road rage illegal in Washington?
Most drivers experience road rage when they feel disrespected on the road. Understandably, it can be infuriating when someone cuts you off or honks their horn at you. Other factors, such as heavy traffic and psychological influences, such as stress, can also trigger rage when driving.
While road rage is not against the law in and of itself in Washington, most drivers who take part in it display illegal aggressive driving behaviors. Here are just a few examples:
- Speeding: Driving over the appropriate speed limit
- Reckless driving: Disregarding the safety of other people or the property of others when driving
- Tailgating: Following another car too closely than what is reasonable and prudent
These behaviors are common among drivers who are trying to intimidate other drivers or prove to them that they are superior drivers. Some of these behaviors may result in a penalty, such as a fine or the suspension of your driving license. Worse still, violating these laws while under the influence of drugs or an intoxicating substance may lead to heavier fines and jail time.
Apart from being illegal, road rage can lead to potentially dangerous situations for you and other motorists. Road rage is a type of distracted driving since it diverts your focus away from the wheel and makes it difficult to think straight.
It has also been shown to play a significant role in a number of traffic fatalities and injuries. In 2022, there were a total of 1,058 incidents related to road rage violence in Washington alone.
Be the bigger person
When your emotions are at an all-time high, it can be challenging to regain control. But sometimes, all it takes is to breathe and remember to be the bigger person. You do not want to cause an accident just because of a small misunderstanding or disagreement with another driver. Instead, keep your focus on safe driving practices so that you can get to your destination without any problems.