When you’re driving, few things are scarier than realizing you’re dealing with a road-raging driver. Maybe you got a little too close when you switched lanes, drove too slowly for their liking, or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Regardless, there’s never an excuse for road rage. It dramatically increases the likelihood of an accident and has even led to shootings across the country.
If you’ve been involved in a road rage accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver. First, you’ll have to prove that they caused you harm. Let us help—call Kingbird Legal at 484-289-4880 to set up a time to talk to our team of car accident attorneys.
What is Road Rage?
This term refers to aggressive, violent, and provocative behavior exhibited by angry or stressed-out drivers. It covers a wide range of actions, from flipping off other drivers and tailgating them to following them to their destination or trying to egg them into responding. It often involves using your vehicle as a weapon, either by causing actual physical harm or making someone think that you’ll do so. Drivers who engage in road rage show an inherent disregard for others on the road, using their time behind the wheel to take out their anger, frustration, and stress on others.
How Road Rage Causes Car Accidents
Seeing all of the behaviors categorized as road rage, it is not a big surprise that they can increase the likelihood of an accident. Aggressive driving maneuvers are unpredictable and may cause other drivers to panic, causing them to lose control of their vehicle. Aggressive drivers are also at greater risk of losing control of their vehicles when they speed, weave in and out of traffic, or stop and start erratically.
Aggressive drivers are often flooded with adrenaline, which makes it hard to think clearly and respond appropriately to changes in circumstances. They may take unnecessary risks and fail to accurately assess the danger they are putting others in, leading to increasingly unsafe choices.
Road rage can even lead to violent confrontations. When one driver is angry enough to follow another to their destination, they can instigate a fight. This can also happen if the road-raging driver is aggressive enough to anger other drivers. This puts both at risk of assault and can cause collisions if a confrontation takes place on the side of the road.
Road Rage Can Contribute to More Severe Collisions
Not only does road rage cause accidents, but accidents caused by road rage are more likely to be severe in nature. Drivers in the throes of road rage are often driving far too fast for weather and traffic conditions. This contributes to the severity of a crash and often leads to more catastrophic injuries.
When road rage incidents turn into violent confrontations, the damage is often worse—these altercations have occasionally led to shootings or caused secondary collisions that injured uninvolved people. Road rage is stressful for everyone involved, whether they are perpetuating it, victimized by it, or even just witnessing it. This creates a chaotic and stressful environment that puts everyone at greater risk of being involved in a crash.
Preventing Road Rage
There are several ways that people can minimize the risk of road rage and prevent accidents. Possible solutions include:
- Focusing on individual responsibility and behavior: While it’s possible to improve infrastructure and other aspects of driving, it really comes down to each individual’s choices. By making road rage an unacceptable and societally shamed behavior, people can reduce the risk of others resorting to road rage when stuck in traffic.
- Increasing enforcement of traffic laws: Traffic laws already forbid road rage, but they are not enforced as much as they should be. Law enforcement focusing on catching and detaining intentionally aggressive drivers could make the roads safer for everyone.
- Increased reporting of dangerous drivers: Individuals who observe aggressive drivers can report them to the police to increase the likelihood of a traffic stop.
- Infrastructure that limits traffic buildup: Bad traffic can trigger road rage. Infrastructure that’s appropriate for traffic density can reduce the risk of angry drivers.
Explore Your Legal Options After a Car Accident with Kingbird Legal
Ready to find out if you’re owed compensation after a car crash? The team at Kingbird Legal is here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at 484-289-4880 to set up a time to talk to our attorneys.