Road rage is more common than you may think. In fact, authorities attribute more than ten thousand injuries to road rage in the past decade. If you are unsure what road rage looks like, this article will help you understand what road rage is and what happens when drivers get enraged. When you have questions about filing a car accident claim following a road rage incident, an experienced car accident attorney can provide answers and honestly evaluate your case.
Signs of Road Rage
It is hard to know exactly how someone will respond when they feel someone mistreated them on the road. Some people yell obscenities, while others might threaten violence. Exactly what happens depends on the person’s personality and how angry they are.
Road rage also causes people to lose their ability to control themselves. This loss of control is real at an emotional level as well as at a physical level. Therefore, you can expect someone afflicted with road rage to behave unpredictably.
Some signs of road rage include:
- Honking the horn aggressively
- Flashing lights
- Riding close to someone or tailgating
- Cutting people off on purpose
- Ramming other vehicles
- Running vehicles off the road or into other traffic lanes
- Excessive speeding
- Driving on the sidewalk or shoulder
- Yelling threats
- Displaying weapons
- Starting a physical confrontation near a vehicle
- Blocking traffic
- Following someone to their destination
If you notice any signs of road rage, try not to engage under any circumstance. The only reason to further your encounter with this person is if they hit your vehicle or caused an accident. Otherwise, keep moving. If they are following you off the highway, you should contact the police or drive to a police station. If you do not, you risk the enraged driver harming you once you arrive at your destination.
However, most people become victims of road rage even if they stay calm and try not to engage. If you already suffered injuries in a road rage crash, you need help from an experienced car accident lawyer immediately.
The Source of Road Rage
Road rage is widespread enough for many experts to study it. It is easy to assume that road rage results from people getting frustrated by the actions of other drivers, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, people are just mad that they must drive for long periods. Sometimes, they have something else on their mind or in their lives that bothers them.
When someone cannot control their emotions, they risk those emotions leaking out and causing responses that may not be appropriate for society or safety. For example, if someone had a bad day at work and started their drive home, that can fester. If something happens on the road that triggers them, road rage may ensue. The angry thoughts emerge through rageful actions toward innocent drivers.
But frequently, road rage is just a violent response to someone acting a certain way on the road. Someone might drive slow in the fast lane or might accidentally pull in front of another driver. While these are mistakes on the road, they should not lead other drivers to engage in road rage. Drivers should know to remain calm when someone else makes a mistake and avoid further risks – not create them.
Even if another driver made a mistake first, there is no excuse for drivers to react with road rage and cause severe accidents and injuries. If the road raging driver tries to blame you for an accident, never assume you are entirely at fault, and always let a car accident lawyer evaluate your legal rights and options.
What Are Three Examples of Road Rage?
You came to this article because you wanted to know the answer to “what are three examples of road rage?” Well, here are some examples to think about.
1. The Driver Who Threatens Others
You are on the road when suddenly, you miss your highway exit. Because you are in a rush to cross lanes, you end up cutting someone off. You inconvenienced that person, but you think nothing of it.
Minutes later, you notice someone following you closely. It is the same person that you mistakenly cut off. They are tailgating you closely and visibly yelling at you from their vehicle. This situation might be scary to you, but it is a common sign of road rage.
The person following you may speed up to scare you or get in front of you, threatening to cut you off or cause a rear-end accident. They might also roll down their window and start yelling at you as you drive or even flash a weapon. You must call law enforcement immediately if they try to force you off the road or threaten you.
You should not take these threats lightly. If someone is taking threatening action against you on the road, their road rage may have consumed them. This rage means you cannot know what to expect from them later. For all you know, they may intend to use a weapon – or their vehicle as a weapon – against you.
If the road raging driver hits you or runs you off the road, stay in your vehicle and call 911. Do not confront them.
2. The Suddenly Irresponsible Driver
This time, you are in the middle lane of the highway. You notice that the car ahead of you switches lanes without adequately signaling. This change causes the driver they cut in front of to get angry. That driver then begins weaving in and out of traffic erratically.
They are not directing their actions explicitly at the person who cut them off. Instead, they are acting purely out of anger and frustration. The person who did not signal may have set them off. Now that they are at the boiling point, their goal may be to irritate and frustrate other drivers.
Even if a road raging driver does not seem to be directing their actions toward you, erratic and irresponsible driving puts everyone at risk. You can get caught in the crosshairs of a driver who becomes enraged by something else.
3. The Distracting Driver
Cars have horns so drivers can signal when someone else is doing something that might cause an accident. However, road ragers can use their horns or flash their lights at others when it is unnecessary.
Abusing one’s horn or flashing lights can irritate other drivers, and people with road rage know this. That is why they abuse these devices when they get upset. However, drivers can easily become distracted and preoccupied with constant and unnecessary honking or flashing. This can lead to crashes involving many different vehicles in the vicinity.
If another driver purposely distracted you with their horn or lights, and you crashed, they should be responsible for the accident and resulting injuries.
Road Rage Causes Accidents and Injuries
Road rage may lead to an accident or violent encounter. If so, you can claim compensation through an insurance claim or court case. To do so, you must prove that they were liable for the accident and it was not someone else’s responsibility.
This case requires you to show:
- The driver must provide a specific duty of care involving safely and responsibly operating their vehicle. This is usually easy to prove because, in most cases, drivers must drive safely.
- The driver’s aggression caused them to breach their duty of care to other roadway users. If someone is driving recklessly, that does not necessarily mean they were experiencing road rage. Though, aggressive driving behaviors do signify road rage usually.
- The driver’s actions caused the accident, leading to injuries and other losses. You cannot file a claim without evidence that the proposed defendant caused the accident via their actions.
- You have experienced actual damages due to the other driver’s negligent behavior. If an accident occurred, but there were no damages, there is nothing to sue for.
A car accident lawyer can assess what led to the crash and determine whether you can prove these elements of liability. While proving road rage can be challenging, your attorney might prove that the road raging driver violated specific laws, which is enough to show they violated their duty of care.
These can be complex legal questions, and you need the right legal professional to represent your rights as the victim of road rage.
What to Do After a Road Rage Accident
You need to call the police immediately if a road rage accident occurs. In many cases, getting out of the car is not a good idea until they arrive. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of additional harm by the enraged driver.
Even if the other driver comes knocking on your window, do not get out unless you feel the situation is safe for you and your passengers. Once the police arrive, they can deescalate the situation. They will also create a police report detailing the events that transpired before, during, and after the accident. To do so, they will interview you, the other driver, and witnesses.
Get medical attention for any injuries you suffered. Getting an immediate diagnosis creates records of your injuries stemming from the crash. Once you have a treatment plan, follow it closely to maximize your recovery and demonstrate that you are taking your injuries seriously. This can only help with your car accident claim.
Following an accident, never speak to an insurance company without a lawyer. You should not even report the accident to your own insurer without legal assistance. Insurers will attempt to get you to say something that lowers their obligation to provide you with compensation. Instead of speaking to them, talk to a lawyer. Learn more why insurance companies lowball claims.
Tell your lawyer precisely what happened in your accident, and they will help you determine the best course of action to seek your due compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Any other losses from your injuries
Get a Car Accident Lawyer to Help With Your Road Rage Accident Claim
You need evidence to prove that the driver who hit you or caused your accident was the at-fault party. Even with evidence, it can still be challenging to prove that your injuries are as severe as you say they are. Work with a skilled car accident lawyer so you recover the maximum compensation possible.
A car accident attorney will have your best interests in mind, no matter the severity of your injuries. You only have a limited time to file a claim after a car accident, which is one of the most important reasons you should never wait to consult an attorney. If you miss the deadline to file a claim, you lose out on the chance to recover compensation for your injuries.
Case evaluations are free with no obligation, so reach out to a trusted personal injury attorney as soon as possible.