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Some drivers may exhibit aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding, that may create dangerous situations for other drivers. This aggressive driving may become road rage in some situations where something happens to anger the driver. The driver may then engage in dangerous and violent behaviors to retaliate, often causing accidents and serious injuries to others.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of road rage, you should contact an experienced road rage injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
WHAT IS ROAD RAGE?
Road rage statistics highlight how serious of an issue it is. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2019 data, about 80% of drivers in the United States reported experiencing some level of aggression, anger, or road rage while driving within the previous 30 days.
While it may seem like road rage and aggressive driving are the same, as both may pose a threat to other drivers on the road, the terms have different meanings. Aggressive driving generally refers to the visible signs of driving offenses that create dangerous conditions for others on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as when a driver “commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”
Meanwhile, road rage typically refers to a specific and often criminal offense which may include committing an act of violence against another driver. The NHTSA defines road rage as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle or precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.” Road rage often occurs as a result of a specific incident, such as being cut off by another driver, while aggressive driving may lead to road rage if such an occurrence happens.
SIGNS OF ROAD RAGE AND AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
Road rage is a common occurrence, as drivers become frustrated or angry and begin exhibiting aggressive driving behaviors. Being able to spot these signs of road rage or aggressive driving may help you avoid a car collision. Common signs of aggressive driving and road rage include:
- Speeding or trying to race other vehicles
- Cutting off drivers when changing lanes
- Tailgating the vehicle in front
- Failing to obey traffic signals, traffic signs, or crosswalks
- Preventing other drivers from switching lanes
- Yelling obscenities or using obscene hand gestures
- Ramming other vehicles
- Sideswiping vehicles
- Forcing another vehicle off the road
- Throwing objects
AVOID AGGRESSIVE DRIVERS
Because of the dangers posed by aggressive drivers, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of aggressive driving or road rage and avoid these drivers. In avoiding these dangerous drivers, it may be helpful to remember the following tips:
- Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination
- Stay calm and avoid challenging aggressive drivers
- Avoid cutting off other drivers or tailgating other vehicles
- If you see an aggressive driver, get out of the way if possible
- If the aggressive driver tries to antagonize you or get your attention, try to ignore them and avoid making eye contact
- Do not respond to aggressive behavior with your own aggressive behavior
- If you feel threatened by another driver, call 911
DANGERS OF AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
As one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States, aggressive driving refers to dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding or tailgating, often caused by impatience or frustration. In some cases, a driver may become angry or frustrated, such as after being cut off by another driver or after being tailgated by another driver. This anger may lead to road rage and the driver intentionally attempting to cause harm to the other driver. This road rage may include behavior such as forcing other drivers off the road, sideswiping the vehicle, or even using a firearm. In some cases, road rage may even lead to a driver murdering or seriously injuring another driver.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving is a factor in over half of all fatal car crashes. Indeed, about 106,727 fatal vehicle crashes, or 55.7% of the total fatal car crashes over a four-year period, were caused by aggressive driving. Overall, aggressive driving is responsible for almost two-thirds of all traffic fatalities.
Personal Injuries from Altercations with a Driver
Meanwhile, the AAA Foundation also analyzed over 10,000 road rage incidents over a seven-year period. The AAA found that these road rage incidents had resulted in at least 218 murders along with another 12,610 injuries.
LAWS REGARDING ROAD RAGE
While aggressive driving may often result in traffic tickets, such as from speeding or reckless driving, road rage is often a much more serious offense. Most states make road rage a crime, while road rage laws and penalties against this behavior may frequently vary from state to state. Because the driver engaging in this behavior intends to cause harm, these penalties are often much more serious than traffic tickets, including the possibility of costly fines or even jail time.
Meanwhile, states that do not have specific road rage laws may punish this behavior under other laws. For example, drivers who use their vehicle in an attempt to run other drivers off the road or to hit another vehicle may be charged with crimes like assault with a deadly weapon in some states. Finally, in road rage incidents that may involve a firearm, the driver can also be charged with various firearm crimes, such as unlawfully brandishing or firing a weapon or even attempted murder.
CONTACT OUR ROAD RAGE INJURY LAWYERS FOR HELP
If you or a loved one has been injured in a road rage accident or an accident caused by another driver’s aggressive driving, you should contact the experienced road rage lawyers at Zinda Law Group to help you seek any compensation you may be entitled to. While you may understandably be upset as you attempt to recover from the injuries caused by road rage, your lawyer may handle your case while allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries. Your attorney may take several steps to help you seek compensation, such as:
The experienced team at Zinda Law Group have years of experience helping victims seek compensation after they have been injured by the intentional or reckless actions of others. This process may often begin with your attorney thoroughly investigating your accident and gathering any available evidence. This information may include gathering any evidence that the other party was driving aggressively or committing road rage, such as by running you off the road.
Your lawyer may gather contact information and statements from any witnesses to the accident and examine pictures or videos of the incident. This investigation may also include gathering any medical records that may document the extent of your injuries. Your lawyer may also obtain any available police report that may help you prove your injuries were caused by the other driver’s road rage, especially if any criminal convictions result from the accident.
Notify Law Enforcement
After an accident, once you have received medical attention for any injuries, you should \contact law enforcement, especially in accidents that may have been caused by the other driver’s aggressive driving or road rage. Law enforcement may investigate the accident to determine if the other driver committed any criminal offenses in causing the accident. For example, the other driver may be arrested in some cases where the evidence suggests the driver attempted to run you off the road or otherwise intentionally attempted to cause harm. Vehicles are deadly tools when used for violent purposes by someone experiencing road rage.
Negotiating a Settlement
After conducting a thorough investigation, your lawyer may also negotiate with the insurance company to reach an acceptable settlement offer. After your lawyer makes an initial settlement offer, the insurer may often refuse this offer and make a counteroffer. The insurance company may also attempt to dispute the evidence indicating the liability of their insured or the extent of your injuries. Your lawyer may then generally use evidence gathered in the investigation to counter these arguments and support your claim. This process may continue back and forth until an acceptable settlement agreement is reached to avoid the costs and expense of a trial.
In many road rage cases, if the other driver was convicted of criminal behavior involved in causing the accident or your injuries, the insurer may be much more willing to quickly settle your claim, especially if you are being represented by an experienced lawyer. However. the other party’s insurance company may also attempt to deny coverage depending on the language of the insurance policy. This may require your attorney to closely review the policy’s language. If these negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawyer may instead take your case to trial to prove your claim against the other driver or insurer.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
CALL THE ROAD RAGE INJURY ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our car accident attorneys may be able to help you if you have been injured in a road rage accident. Our road rage injury attorneys have years of experience helping our clients seek the compensation they are entitled to after they or a loved one was injured in a car accident.
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