We all get frustrated from time to time when someone isn’t going as fast as we’d like or cuts us off in traffic. Thankfully, most people are able to let out the frustration in a healthy manner and then move on with their day. Other drivers make the poor decision to let their emotions get in the way of their better judgment and let road rage take over their driving habits which can devolve into dangerous or even deadly situations.
An angry or frustrated attitude that results in aggressive or reckless behavior when operating a motor vehicle. It can be the result of irritation towards another driver or circumstances.
How Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Lead to Accidents
Certain behaviors can make a person liable for damages if their actions lead to an accident or result in any kind of injury. For instance, everyone knows that weaving through various lanes while speeding increases the risk of an accident.
If someone chooses to engage in that type of driving anyway, they (or their insurance carrier) may find themselves on the hook for your medical bills, lost income, and so on after a wreck. Specific traffic infractions and the most common forms of road rage may include:
- Aggressive behavior like continuously honking and wild gesticulating at other drivers
- Brandishing or pointing weapons like a firearm at other people on the road
- Colliding with another vehicle on purpose, such as attempting to “bump” a car out of the way or into another lane
- Coasting through or entirely ignoring stop signs
- Failing to yield
- Flashing headlights repeatedly at other drivers
- Following another driver who is the target of the road rage
- Illegal passing on the right or left where there isn’t a lane
- Preventing other drives from changing lanes or making turns
- Running red and yellow lights
- Running the other driver off the road or simply out of the current lane
- Sudden stopping to cause problems for the preceding vehicle, which is sometimes referred to as break checking
- Tailgating by following too closely to another vehicle, which greatly increases the chances of a wreck if there is a sudden stop
- Throwing obscene hand gestures such as “flipping the bird”
- Verbally abusing other drivers on the road
- Weaving through traffic to get ahead of all other drivers with or without using turn signals
What to Do Next After a Philadelphia Road Rage Collision
In this sort of accident, it is extremely important to protect yourself legally by taking certain actions. Unfortunately, you also have to consider your physical safety in these situations in addition to your accident injuries. After a wreck caused by a driver gripped with road rage, be sure to follow these steps:
- Do not engage with the other driver. Avoid speaking with them entirely after any accident caused by road rage, and that’s especially true if the at-fault party is verbally abusive or is trying to instigate a physical confrontation.
- Notify the police. Law enforcement needs to be called about the accident so they can document the collision and begin investigating the cause of the crash. Provide a basic accounting of the facts to the officers on the scene without any commentary and be sure not to admit fault in any way.
- Seek medical attention. It’s better to go to the emergency room immediately after leaving the scene than waiting, even if you don’t feel like you’ve been seriously harmed.
- Talk to a lawyer. Even if the negligent driver is arrested, any criminal proceedings against them won’t help with your financial recovery. You still need an attorney to assist in recovering compensation.
A legal professional can perform an in-depth investigation into the accident, in addition to law enforcement’s conclusions at the scene about fault. With the right evidence in hand, your legal counsel can fight for the full and fair amount you deserve from insurance. If that amount won’t cover all your damages, your attorney may also need to present evidence to a jury in a personal injury lawsuit.
Get the Legal Help You Need After a Road Rage Accident Injury
Did road rage or aggressive driving play a role in your car accident injury? Call the Heslin Law Firm to schedule a consultation and discuss the next steps at 215-332-0300 or send a message online here. We want to hear from you and find out if we are the right fit for your Philadelphia car accident case.