The Casualties of Road Rage - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Special Report - Highway Terror

The Casualties of Road Rage

Road rage can be sparked by the smallest of incidents.

"They're driving along, someone's following too close, or they nearly cut them off and they get aggravated," Trooper Greg Sanches said. "People are stressed out from work or traffic and they're irritated or mad and before they know it they explode and take those frustrations out on someone else."

Too often, those situations can escalate, and can even turn deadly.

"We see a lot of road rage that turns into someone getting killed or serious injury on the road," Sanches said.

Recent studies by AAA show that since 1990, "aggressive driving" incidents have risen by 50%. One cause the study suggests is the increasing amount of over-sized sports utility vehicles on the road.

"Sometimes people feel if they're in a vehicle they can take it out on someone else because it's big and surrounded by metal," Sanches said. "But that's not true because what happens once they do that they're putting somebody else's life in jeopardy."

With road rage happening every day, what can you do to protect yourself?

"When you're a victim of this, the best thing to do is try to calm down and get in a safe position and get away from that person and call it in as soon as possible," Sanches said.

If you're on the aggressive end, Trooper Sanches has some advice.

"There is no traffic offense out there that is worth taking it out on someone else using road rage against them, getting mad and taking it out on them. There is no traffic offense worth that," Sanches said.

Some experts say a road rage incident that escalates into tragedy can be averted with a simple apology.

One survey shows over 85% of road ragers said they would drop the matter if the other "careless" driver simply apologized.

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