Road rage is considered to be extreme and aggressive anger that occurs while driving. It is more than annoyance or vexation at poor drivers or traffic congestion. It amounts to the disproportionate fury that can lead individuals to behave recklessly and violently. In the midst of road rage, a driver may not be fully in control of their actions or aware of how they are behaving. However, this is not a legal defense to an individual causing an accident that led to your injuries. An individual overcome by road rage is still liable for any property damage and bodily injury resulting from aggressive driving.
If you are dealing with the physical, psychological, and financial ramifications of an aggressive driving or road rage accident, contact a car accident lawyer of Studinski Law, LLC immediately. Auto accidents are one of our primary practice areas, and we are well-versed in road rage crashes. We understand the evidence you need to prove the liable driver was experiencing road rage and behaving negligently, recklessly, or purposefully harmful at the time of the crash. Call us today at (715) 343-2850.
Recognizing Road Rage
Everyone experiences frustrations behind the wheel occasionally. However, road rage is more than occasionally honking or yelling at a bad driver. It often involves:
- Verbal insults and yelling
- Rude or insulting gestures
- Threats of violence
- Attempts at intimidation
- Physical confrontation
- Aggressive driving maneuvers like speeding, tailgating, swerving between lanes of traffic, blocking other drivers, and racing
- Vehicle collisions
It is difficult to pinpoint the causes of road rage. One person may be set off by a slow driver while others may just be having a bad day. Road rage is not logical, and there is no good excuse for driving in such a dangerous manner.
Road Rage Leads to Many Traffic Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities
Road rage is a common occurrence. Unfortunately, this uncontrollable anger leads to aggressive driving that causes crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The most common hostile driving tactics: speeding, tailgating, failure to obey signs and traffic laws, racing, and attempting to confront other drivers all increase the risk of serious collisions. In fact, a study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety found aggressive driving accounted for one-third of all fatal crashes and more than half of all traffic fatalities.
The Difference Between Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
The terms aggressive driving and road rage may be used interchangeably, yet they are not technically the same. Aggressive driving occurs when a person operates a vehicle in a way that endangers or is likely to endanger other people or property. It is often a part of road rage, yet it is not the whole story. An individual can drive aggressively without being uncontrollably angry or hostile.
Aggressive driving usually constitutes one or more traffic violations, such as speeding, tailgating, or improper lane usage. An individual who drives aggressively and causes an accident will likely receive a ticket for at least one offense. The ticket will result in a fine, a mark on that person’s record, and driver’s license points. If the driver accumulates 12 points within one year, then an aggressive driving episode can lead to a driver’s license suspension. When a driver receives a ticket for moving violations in relation to the accident that caused your injuries, this can be used as evidence to prove negligence and gain you compensation.
However, when a driver was experiencing road rage at the time of the accident, the collision and actions related to the crash may rise to the level of a crime. For instance, if there were threats of violence or a physical confrontation, then the driver may be charged with assault and battery. If a deadly weapon like a knife or gun was used, this could lead to additional or more serious charges. Road rage incidents can result in more than a traffic ticket.
Recovering Compensation After an Aggressive Driving or Road Rage Accident
If you were injured by an aggressive driver or a person experiencing road rage, these facts matter to your claim for compensation. When a person was driving aggressively or committing road rage, then there will likely be moving violations or criminal charges you can use to prove that the person was negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous in causing the crash. A ticket or criminal offense is strong evidence in favor of you obtaining compensation.
Additionally, if the other driver was behaving aggressively or violently during the accident, then this may be evidence of gross negligence, which is more than ordinary negligence. When a person is found to be grossly negligent, it is because they did something that was obviously wrong. Their actions were egregious and inexcusable. Due to the severity of their actions, a judge or jury during a personal injury lawsuit may assess punitive damages against the wrongdoer. This type of financial recovery is not meant to reimburse you for your medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Instead, it is intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter him or her from behaving that way again.
Call Our Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Aggressive driving and road rage are unacceptable. However, this does not stop individuals to continue to drive despite debilitating anger and to behave in a way that puts your life at risk. If you were injured in an aggressive driving or road rage incident, do not hesitate to hold the other driver responsible and seek the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
At Studinski Law, LLC we can help you move forward with a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. Auto accidents are one of our main practice areas, and we understand how traffic tickets and criminal offenses related to the crash effect your case.
Call us today at (715) 343-2850 to learn about your rights and legal options in this situation.