Road rage causes thousands of auto accident injuries and fatalities every year throughout the United States. Aggressive driving has increasingly become a serious problem on the roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”
Studies show there are numerous “triggers” to road rage, like feeling rushed, being in traffic, or speeding. Other signs of possible road rage or aggressive driving include:
- Changing lanes without using a signal;
- Talking on cell phone;
- Running red lights;
- Honking the horn;
- Cutting off other drivers or preventing other vehicles from merging; and
- Using obscene gestures.
Some road rage-possessed drivers may go as far as to intentionally cause a crash between vehicles. The driver may then proceed to get out of the vehicle and angrily approach the other vehicle. Threatening to use a weapon or throwing objects is often seen as well..
Ways to Avoid Road Rage
There are many ways to prevent road rage incidents. First and foremost, avoid any potential conflict by backing off. It is too risky to challenge or compete with an aggressive driver. Law enforcement authorities strongly advise drivers to get out of the way and allow the aggressive driver to drive by. In the unfortunate circumstance you are involved in an extended situation with an aggressive driver, below are some helpful tips to deal with the aggressive driver:
- Control your anger by staying calm and not engaging the aggressive driver’s antic;.
- Get out of the way by backing off and letting the aggressive driver pass you by;
- Avoid any potential conflict by being as courteous as possible;
- Ignore gestures;
- Avoid eye contact;
- Don’t tailgate;
- Use your horn sparingly;
- Don’t block turning or passing lanes;
- Reduce your stress by giving yourself enough time to reach your destination; and
- Report serious aggressive driving to the police.
Damages and Liability
It is not uncommon for road rage incidents to accelerate into personal and property damage. In addition to criminal charges, a victim may be able to sue the aggressive driver for monetary damages. Possible claims include battery, assault, and negligence. Assault occurs when the person places you in apprehension of offensive touching, while battery is the actual harmful or offensive touching of another person without consent. Harmful or offensive touching is not limited to a person touching you with their hands, but also includes objects near or within the person’s possession. For example, if the driver intentionally hits your car with his/her car or the driver pounds his fist into your car, these actions are sufficient to establish a personal injury claim. If you reasonably feared the driver would commit an immediate battery against you, then there is also an assault claim. A person has acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances.
If you or a loved was injured by an aggressive driver, you may be entitled to collect damages. Even though criminal charges can be prosecuted, you should still consult a personal injury attorney to seek remedies for your injuries.
Need Legal Help?
Have you been injured in an auto accident? If so, you may have a claim to damages. The attorneys at Solnick & Associates LLC have helped thousands of people injured in all types of accidents. Contact our experienced auto accident attorneys today at 215-481-9979 for a free consultation.