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On 11/5/20, the Iowa Association for Justice (f/k/a the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association) named Russ Hixson, of Hixson & Brown, the Outstanding Member Award recipient for 2020.

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Fatal crashes linked to aggressive drivers jump 500%

Anyone who commutes regularly in Iowa knows that some drivers behave aggressively. Most people recognize the term “road rage” because it has become so prevalent in society. During the 10-year period of 2006 to 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculated that fatal traffic accidents involving aggressive drivers increased exponentially.

Drivers threatening other motorists with firearms has become more common as well. A nonprofit organization that collects gun violence data reported that 247 incidents of gun violence between drivers happened in 2014. By 2016, the figure went up to 620. A poll conducted by the Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2016 found that 80% of people admitted to feeling road rage at least once a year. A slim majority of poll respondents said that they tailgated people on purpose.

The poor behavior revealed by this poll shows that most drivers can expect to experience a road rage situation. Someone targeted by an irate driver should strive to defuse the situation by refusing to react. Potential road rage victims should not get out of their vehicles or roll down windows to engage with confrontational drivers. When circumstances are especially threatening, drivers should call 911 for help from law enforcement.

Research has show a link between angry drivers and a greater likelihood of being in car accidents. Impulsive tendencies and aggressive emotions could motivate people to speed, tailgate or switch lanes unexpectedly. The victim of a crash caused by an aggressive driver might ask an attorney about what recourse they might have. An attorney might assist with an accident investigation, and this information might demonstrate the responsible party’s liability for the victim’s medical expenses and other losses.

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