How to Handle Road Rage and Aggressive Drivers
Drivers owe other motorists a duty of care to drive safely, possess a valid driver's license, carry auto collision insurance, avoid distractions, drive sober, and observe all traffic laws. Auto accidents caused by road rage or aggressive driving often result in serious injuries and fatalities due to the driver speeding and using their motor vehicle as a weapon. While simple driving errors cause most accidents, accidents caused by road rage or aggressive driving are the result of gross negligence since the driver is intentionally engaging in unsafe driving behaviors.
If you or someone you love has sustained injuries during road rage or aggressive driving accident, it is possible that the injured party or family member may have a claim against the aggressive driver, depending on the specific facts and laws that govern. Although accident victims may qualify for financial compensation, there are generally strict deadlines for filing a claim. Speaking with an experienced car accident attorney as quickly as possible is essential in ensuring that deadlines are not missed and that evidence is protected.
If you observe a driver engaging in road rage or aggressive driving, it is best to back off and maintain a safe distance away from the aggressive driver. A few common road rage signs are:
- Abrupt stops
- Honking the horn excessively
- Erratic driving / excessive lane changes
- Headlight flashing / using the high beams on others
- Offensive gestures and shouting
Unsafe driving behaviors lead to specific types of car accidents. The following are a few types of accidents caused by dangerous driving.
- Rear-End Collisions: When drivers follow too closely or speed, the driver has less stopping distance and could collide with the car ahead of them. Road Rage drivers can also cause rear-end collisions by engaging in brake checks and shortstops.
- Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents often occur when one driver attempts to run another driver off the road. Rollover accidents are particularly dangerous and may cause catastrophic or fatal injuries. When vehicle passengers wear their seat belts, a rollover accident can result in neck, head, and spine injuries if the car's roof collapses during a collision.
- Run-off-of-the-Road Accidents: Drivers who try to force other motorists off of the roadway can lead to a potentially fatal road departure accident.
Engaging with a driver who is driving aggressively or displaying road rage is generally not a good idea. Even if the driver's aggressive driving is causing you to feel anger, it is better to take deep breathes and maintain your distance. If a victim of road rage retaliates, the accident victim who retaliates may also be considered partially at fault in any potential accident claim. An experienced car accident lawyer can help evaluate specific fact patterns to determine whether a person has legal recourse against an aggressive driver.
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