Amid a rise in bad driving behaviour and car accidents, Canadians report an upsurge in road rage incidents. A new survey found that over 50 percent of Canadians admit to engaging in some form of road rage. Meanwhile, 78 percent of drivers say they have witnessed road rage incidents and car accidents.
Road rage is an umbrella term for aggressive driving and targeted attempts to threaten, scare, or injure another driver or person on the road. Unfortunately, angry drivers are causing more accidents than ever before, the Ontario Provincial Police say. OPP reports that fatal car accidents due to speeding and aggressive driving rose by 31 percent in 2021.
Motorists who drive aggressively put everyone else on the road at risk. Serious injuries or death can result from such confrontations.
Most common types of road rage
Road rage can take many forms, and some expressions of motorist anger are more common than others.
The Leger survey for Ratesdotca reveals how many Canadians say they have engaged in or have witnessed specific types of road rage:
- Honking – 35 percent of drivers say they have honked at other motorists, while 54 percent say they have seen other drivers do this.
- Flashing lights – 18 percent of drivers have flashed their lights at another vehicle; 38 percent have witnessed others doing this.
- Tailgating (following too closely) – 16 percent admit to doing it; 57 percent say they’ve seen it.
- Brake-checking (tapping the brakes) – 16 percent have done it; 33 percent have seen it.
- Cutting off another vehicle – 14 percent have done it; 58 percent have seen it.
- Obscene gesturing – 14 percent have done it; 37 percent have seen it.
- Road rage collisions and rolling down the window to yell had the same survey results – 8 percent have done it; 28 percent have seen it.
- Stopping and exiting a vehicle to confront another person – 3 percent have done it; 16 percent have seen it.
GTA road rage incidents
The Leger survey confirms what many people who live, work, or visit The Greater Toronto Area already know: today’s drivers seem to have shorter fuses compared to just a couple of years ago. Recent high-profile GTA road rage incidents include:
- In July, a driver allegedly pulled a firearm on another motorist in Bostridge Drive and Trafalgar Road in Oakville.
- A “hate incident” in Hamilton, near the corner of Ottawa Street and Main Street, involved a man getting out of his vehicle and, according to video, using a racial slur at another driver.
- A lane change near the intersection of Dixie Road at Orenda Road in Brampton led to a late-May confrontation caught on video.
Road rage incidents are rarely fatal, but sometimes the worst does happen. For instance, an innocent woman was shot and killed during a May incident in Calgary.
Usually, the rage drivers display comes from shouting and near misses between vehicles. However, when road rage turns violent, the results can be severe.
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