Frustration, exhaustion, and even anger are common when driving. Road rage, however, takes these emotions to another level. Drivers who exhibit excessive anger and aggressive driving are generally accused of road rage. The consequences of this behavior can prove tragic, even deadly. And if you or a loved one were injured or killed in an auto accident caused by a road-raging driver, it’s time to demand justice. Hale & Monico is ready to fight for you.
What exactly is “road rage”?
All of us have seen, or perhaps personally displayed, some type of anger while driving. But road rage is more than blowing your horn or cursing at another driver. Put simply, road rage means significantly elevating hostility and confrontation between you and another driver, which in turn increases the likelihood of an automobile accident. Some common traits exhibited by road raging drivers are:
- Suddenly speeding up in proximity to another vehicle
- Brake-checking, which is deliberately hitting the brakes while in front of another driver
- Tailgating another vehicle
- Aggressively flashing your bright lights behind another vehicle
- Racing other drivers
- Swerving in and out of lanes
- Stopping your car, getting out, and approaching another driver
- Making threats to other drivers
- Obscene gestures and cursing
Why Road Rage Is So Risky
These behaviors cross the line between blowing off steam and head straight into reckless, deadly driving. So what is it about road rage that causes accidents? Consider some of the consequences of the above and related actions:
- Speeding. Accelerating your vehicle, especially near another driver, will increase the risk of a collision. The risk is also heightened if the road-raging driver keeps speeding up and slowing down repeatedly. Failing to obey stoplights and street signs. It’s common for overly aggressive drivers to run red lights, ignore stop signs, fail to yield, and otherwise conduct themselves in unsafe manners.
- Losing focus. Driving, especially during bad traffic or poor weather, requires keeping your attention on the road. If you’re busy screaming at another driver or trying to confront that individual, you’re not going to be as focused on the road.
- Confronting other drivers. Some drivers take road rage a step further and swerve in front of the allegedly offending motorist to block them from leaving. Or they will exit their vehicle and approach someone else stopped at a light. This could cause the other driver to flee or take other action that can harm him- or herself and other motorists.
- Reducing reaction times. Any of the above can have the added effect of reducing the road raging driver’s reaction time. If another vehicle suddenly stops, the aggressive driver could collide with them. This also puts pedestrians at risk since the driver won’t have as much time to slow down and yield.
- Increasing the risk of physical violence. Road raging drivers often don’t stop at curses, gestures, threats, or even reckless driving. Many have been known to pull a gun or other weapon on an unsuspecting driver, throw things from the vehicle and engage in other serious behavior.
If you’re in a road rage situation, there’s little that can be gained from responding to the aggressive driver. Your best bet is to let the other driver go or even exit the road if possible. You should also call 911 if you observe another driver engaged in this sort of conduct.
However, if you are injured by a driver because of road rage, you do have the right to pursue a personal injury case against that individual. This is separate from any criminal charges the aggressive driver may face and is concerned more with winning monetary compensation for your injuries.
Count on Hale & Monico. We represent drivers who have been hurt by reckless and negligent drivers, including road rage incidents. Let us get started on your case today.