Can You Sue a Driver Who Commits Road Rage?

While it is true that many drivers across the world become irritated and upset behind the wheels, others go too far and engage in acts of road rage against other drivers.

Any kind of aggressive driving that is purposeful and intended to fear, intimidate, or hurt another driver is considered road rage.

In many cases, law enforcement officials see road rage as a type of assault and battery, which can be used to support a personal injury claim in the event of a road rage-related vehicle accident.

Road rage drivers are more likely to cause an accident, which might result in serious or fatal injuries. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured as a result of road rage, contact a car or truck accident lawyer to discuss your case.

What Contributes to Road Rage?

According to the American Psychological Association, psychological and environmental factors have a role in road rage.

Psychological factors that contribute to road rage include:

Driving on highways when confined in a car appears to be anonymous. Some drivers feel that because they are anonymous, they may act recklessly without fear of repercussions.

Poor time management
Failure to effectively manage time results in rushed mornings or a desperate need to be somewhere faster, which leads to speeding and other hazardous driving habits.

Driving behaviors
Inherently aggressive driving habits can be inherited as well as habitual.

Disregard for the law and others
A driver's lack of humanity and disregard for the consequences might lead them to violate traffic regulations, disrespect other people's safety, act recklessly, or even use their car as a weapon.

Environmental contributors to road rage include:

Traffic delays
When unforeseen traffic jams arise on the road, drivers may get anxious about making it to their destination on time. They may react irresponsibly by cutting others off, weaving in and out of traffic, or following other vehicles too closely.

Actions of others
When other cars on the road act carelessly, some drivers become angry and attempt to retaliate.

Is Road Rage a Crime?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage is a type of reckless driving. It is defined as operating a vehicle on a highway or off-street parking facility with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Anyone convicted of reckless driving might face up to a year in prison and penalties of up to $1,000. A person found guilty of road rage might face felony charges if they seriously injured or kills someone while engaging in aggressive driving.

Since filing a claim for a road rage accident may be complicated, you should have someone on your side who is familiar with the procedure and is working in your better interests.

How Is Liability Determined?

While behind the wheel, most drivers experience occasional bouts of rage. It's one thing toward becoming frustrated as a result of environmental or emotional factors. It's another, and perhaps more hazardous circumstance to become so angry that you use your car to vent your feelings.

When a car accident happens because of road rage, the driver who was acting carelessly due to their emotional condition is often held responsible. However, you must show a link between road rage and the cause of the accident.

Safe Driving Behaviors to Avoid Road Rage Drivers

The easiest approach to avoid getting into problems with a driver who is showing road rage behaviors is to recognize them early and avoid them.

An aggressive driver who might be highly hazardous could do the following:

- Keep a careful eye on the vehicles in front of you (tailgating).
- Making excessive and unprovoked honking noises.
- Use high beams to try to divert other drivers' attention away from you.
- Swerve in and out of lanes without signalling.
- Make obscene hand motions or yell profanities.
- Intentionally drive while distracted, for as by using a smartphone.
- Using a vehicle to force another car off the road.
- Too near to another car.

If you notice any of these behaviors in drivers, try to keep your car at a safe distance from theirs. When it's safe, you can switch lanes, slow down enough to get a few cars behind you, or even quit the roadway and take another route.

If it is safe to do so, call the police and give them a description of the road rage driver and where they were found. By doing so, you may be able to protect someone else from road rage. Never do anything that puts your safety or health in danger.

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Posted - 09/24/2021