Road Rage Incidents
We have all seen them. Whether it is the man who is trying to manage driving and eating lunch at the same time, or the woman jabbering on her phone while the light has been green for 10 seconds, there is at least one bad driver on the road with us every time we get in our cars. If you spend enough time driving on California’s roads and freeways, it is bound to happen: someone at some point is going to do something stupid to annoy or anger you.
For some drivers, these little annoyances are just too much. Eventually, these drivers reach a breaking point, and burst into a fit of “road rage” – dangerous, aggressive, and irresponsible behaviors that are the result of the driver’s inability to control their anger. Road rage is a real threat to your safety and the safety of others on the road.
What Is Road Rage?The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration classifies a road rage driver as one who “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.” For aggressive driving to graduate to road rage, the driver must exhibit a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.
What Are the Causes of Road Rage?There are an infinite number of reasons why a driver might suddenly lose control of their emotions. It could be a bad day at work, trouble at home, or something another driver did that sends a person over the edge. Some of the driving-related causes include:
- Heavy traffic or gridlock
- Construction delays or detours
- Distracted drivers
- Loud music
- Other drivers who move too slowly or who tailgate
The Warning Signs
There are many warning signs that you are sharing the road with an enraged driver. You will want to watch for behaviors such as:
- Sudden and dramatic increases in speed
- Tailgating or cutting off other drivers with little or no warning of a lane change
- Blocking maneuvers to prevent other drivers from changing lanes or merging
- Excessive use of horns and flashing lights
- Hand gestures and/or shouting at other drivers
- Displaying a weapon
- Purposely ramming other vehicles or forcing others off the road
What You Should Do When You See Road RageWhen you spot a driver who is enraged, the best move you can make is to keep your distance. Avoid engaging with one of these drivers. Let them pull ahead, ignore their gestures, and do not make eye contact with aggressive drivers. Refraining from getting involved prevents you from being seen as challenging the unsafe driver, which could escalate the danger. If the driver persists, pull off the road or take an alternate path. Have your passenger call the police. Be sure to note the driver’s license plate and the type of vehicle he or she is driving.
If you find that the confrontation is unavoidable, and the driver purposely attempts to collide with your or force you off the road, you may have a right to recover against that driver for any damages to your vehicle, and for any injuries you sustain. You also can help prevent that driver from forcing others to endure what he or she forced you to suffer. That is why we urge you to contact Jamal Injury Law for help as soon as possible. Personal Injury Attorney Suliman Jamal is committed to you and your case. He can help you through every step of the process of recovering the compensation you deserve, and he is dedicated to bringing road rage driving to an end in California. Call us today at 714-907-1021 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.