Have you encountered an aggressive driver? Are you guilty of instances of road rage or aggressive driving? If so, you are not alone. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 80 percent of drivers are guilty of some type of road rage or aggressive driving.
What is Road Rage?
Road rage is an extreme form of aggressive driving. Examples of behavior that can indicate an incident of road rage include cursing, yelling, throwing objects, and driving dangerously. AAA’s study revealed some very shocking statistics about drivers engaging in acts of aggressive driving or road rage. According to the study:
- Over half of the drivers tailgate other drivers on purpose
- Almost one-half of drivers yell at other drivers
- 45% show physical signs of anger or annoyance such as honking and 33% make angry gestures
- About one-quarter of drivers will prevent another driver from changing lanes
- 12% cut off other vehicles on purpose
- 4% of drivers have gotten out of the vehicle to confront another driver, and 3% have bumped or rammed another car on purpose
Aggressive Driving a Major Cause of Road Rage
In many cases, road rage begins with aggressive driving. Aggressive driving and unsafe driving behaviors that can lead to a car accident and cause other drivers to become angry and more aggressive themselves in response. Examples of aggressive driving include:
- Weaving in and other of traffic
- Cutting in front of another driver and slowing down on purpose
- Blocking cars from changing lanes or passing
- Running red lights
- Using headlights to “blind” other drivers
Holding Drivers Accountable for Road Rage Accidents
When a driver engages in aggressive driving or road rage, that driver can be held accountable for damages that result from an accident caused by the road rage. In some cases, the driver could be charged with a crime if the road rage rises to the level of an assault. For example, if a driver purposefully rams your vehicle, forces you off the road, or gets out to physically confront you, the driver’s actions could fall under the definition of assault. Therefore, in addition to being responsible for any damages caused by the road rage incident, the driver could face criminal charges and penalties.
Establishing Liability and Paying Damages for an Aggressive Driving Accident
A driver does not need to be guilty of a crime to be held liable for damages in a road rage accident. However, you must prove that the driver caused the crash to recover compensation from the driver for your damages. An experienced Erie road rage accident attorney can perform an accident investigation to obtain the evidence needed to prove the aggressive driver caused the crash and is responsible for paying you money for your losses. Common damages in a road rage accident include:
- Medical Costs — The amount of money for your past, current, and future medical care, including physical therapy, rehabilitative therapy, and personal care.
- Loss of Income — The amount of income you have lost because of time away from work because of the accident. This includes money for future lost wages if you cannot return to work or a loss of earning capacity if your ability to earn the same income is impaired because of your injuries.
- Pain and Suffering Damages — Compensation for permanent disabilities, physical pain, scarring, mental anguish, disfigurement, and emotional suffering. These damages can be substantial in cases involving traumatic injuries or permanent disabilities.
Call an Erie Car Accident Attorney for Help
If an angry driver caused your crash, act now to hold that driver accountable for his or her actions. Call The Travis Law Firm toll free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Erie accident attorneys.