Accidents caused by road rage are more common than we’d like to believe. They can happen in broad daylight, and can even involve firearms. The dictionary definition of road rage is ‘violent anger caused by the stress and frustration involved in driving a motor vehicle in difficult conditions.’ The term was coined after a string of freeway shootings in California in the late 1980s.
Unfortunately, incidents of extreme aggression and violence on the road often lead to devastating results. Aggressive driving escalating to road rage contributes to 66 percent of traffic fatalities. The AAA Foundation has also estimated that road rage results in over 1200 accidents per year that end in serious injury or death.
Road rage is among the top 25 causes of car crashes. When a road rage incident results in a collision, accident victims may suffer serious injuries. If this has happened to you, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses or damages caused by your accident.
Road Rage Trends
The majority of road rage offenders tend to be young and male. Some common characteristics seen in road rage incidents include:
- Sudden acceleration
- Close tailgating
- Cutting others off in lanes
- Blocking someone from passing
- High speed chasing
- Excessive yelling, flashing lights, or honking the horn
- Rude gestures
- Verbal abuses and threats
- Driving recklessly as a form of intimidation
- Intentionally colliding with vehicles
- Assaulting other motorists
- Threat of use or use of firearms
- Damaging property with force
According to the NHTSA, road rage is considered a criminal offense when the person with road rage endangers other people or property. In Illinois, if an offender drives with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property, he or she can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. However, when a driver with road rage commits vehicular homicide or causes someone else great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement, he or she can face a Class 3 or 4 felony charge with more severe penalties.
How to Deal with Road Rage Incidents
When you come into contact with an aggressive and agitated driver, the best thing to do is to remain calm and prevent a further escalation of the situation. Reducing the risk of a serious accident is a priority. Regardless of who initiated the disturbance, you should try to steer clear of the other vehicle and avoid eye contact with the aggressor. If necessary, you can exit the road and find an alternative route. Contact the police immediately in the event that a driver begins threatening you with imminent harm or use of a firearm.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you suffered injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s reckless and aggressive driving, you might need an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance. The attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you deal with the aftermath of a traumatic accident and handle the difficult legal questions that may arise.
After we evaluate your case, we will work to gather evidence and documents, interview potential witnesses, and prepare a claim against the liable party. In Illinois, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Disability and disfigurement
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of normal life
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. values communication and commitment, and we will fight for the justice you deserve every step of the way. Schedule a free consultation on with one of our dedicated attorneys today by calling (312) 236-2900 to explore your legal options.
Don’t miss this article: Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents and What You Can Do To Prevent Them. For this month of October, the Illinois attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will be developing a blog series breaking down these leading causes of car crashes.