According to a study conducted by The Zebra, an insurance rate comparison website, 92% of the survey’s participants witnessed an act of road rage in the past year.
Here, we discuss what rises to the level of road rage, how it impacts car accidents and injury victims in Texas, and how drivers can avoid these potentially dangerous circumstances.
What is Road Rage?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has outlined legal differences between road rage and aggressive driving.
- Aggressive driving constitutes anything considered reckless such as tailgating, speeding, or blocking another car from passing.
- Road rage is more severe because it often involves violent intent towards another driver. Road rage includes behaviors like performing brake checks in front of a vehicle, using a vehicle to ram another car, forcing another driver off the road, physically fighting with another driver on the side of the road, or using a weapon to threaten or cause harm.
Road rage is legally classified as a criminal charge, as it is considered a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.
The Zebra study revealed a 500% increase in reported cases of road rage over the last ten years and a total of 12,610 injuries and 218 murders attributed to road rage over seven years in the United States. That’s approximately 30 deaths and 1,800 injuries per year caused by road rage nationwide.
How Does Road Rage Impact Car Accident and Injury Claims in Texas?
Road rage has become so common throughout Texas that North Texas police agencies are investigating hundreds of road rage cases every month. Now, they have a multi-agency task force dedicated to keeping drivers safe on the roads. For drivers who have been hurt or lost a loved one to another’s negligent driving actions — including acts of road rage — the task force is seemingly too late.
When Texas residents are injured in car accidents or lose a loved one in vehicle collisions or related incidents caused by road rage, we are here to help you..
Our dedicated Austin car accident and injury attorneys take the lead in pursuing the at-fault party’s liability insurance to cover your damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other costs. In personal injury cases where our lawyers can prove through clear and convincing evidence that harm caused to the victim resulted from gross negligence, malice, or fraud, you may also be eligible to pursue punitive damages to punish the defendant for harmful behavior and deter similar conduct.
How Can I Avoid Becoming the Target of Road Rage in Texas?
While drivers can’t control other people’s behavior on the road, they can control their own behaviors and reactions to circumstances. Remaining calm and courteous behind the wheel of a vehicle may lower a driver’s risk of an unpleasant confrontation or negative driving situation.
- Avoid eye contact.
Eye contact with aggressive drivers increases the chance of confrontation. Steer clear and ignore angry drivers when possible. Keep the encounter as impersonal as possible.
- Do not respond to aggression with aggression.
Traffic problems and drivers’ behaviors are not a personal challenge or an insult. Avoid becoming reactive. Get out of the other driver’s way as soon as safely possible.
- Be tolerant and forgiving.
Another driver may be having a terrible day. Always assume their behavior is not personal.
Report aggressive drivers by calling 311. If necessary, police departments invite motorists to report unsafe drivers by calling 311. Include the vehicle description, location, license plate number, and direction of travel to authorities, if possible.
- Call 911 if threatened.
Anytime a motorist is concerned for their safety, contact emergency services at 911. Continue to drive to a public place, like a police station, hospital, or fire station, if possible.
Overall, staying alert, remaining calm, and obeying the rules of the road can help decrease aggressive driving and avoid the dangers of road rage.
Contact our Accident and Injury Attorney at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you love was injured in a crash caused by road rage in Texas, call our skilled accident and personal injury attorneys at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.
We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you.