Aggressive driving and road rage are terms that, while often used interchangeably, are technically not the same. However, aggressive driving behavior, such as tailgating, speeding or cutting someone off, can easily lead to road rage.
Road rage crashes have risen by almost 500 percent over the last decade and are one of the leading causes of serious collisions in the U.S. today. Hostile drivers are often intent on engaging you, but it is important that you do not interact with them. Learn other ways to help protect yourself and how you may be able to recover compensation for your damages if a collision occurs.
If you are injured by a hostile driver in a road rage accident, our Knoxville auto accident lawyers are prepared to help. Call our law offices 24/7 for a free case review. You can discuss your situation confidentially and with no obligation to act.
Recovering Compensation for a Road Rage Crash
Most drivers have experienced some level of aggravation behind the wheel. However, road rage is more than the occasional honk on the horn or shout of exasperation at a bad driver. Extreme cases of aggressive driving can quickly escalate to road rage.
Road rage crashes are sometimes unavoidable even if you are taking steps to prevent this from happening. If you are injured in a road rage crash caused by another party, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your damages.
Types of compensation you may be able to recover include:
- Wages lost while recovering at home
- Medical costs related to the crash
- Pain and suffering damages
- Diminished future earnings
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
In Tennessee road rage crashes, injured victims may also be able to recover punitive damages. However, this is not money that is intended to compensate the victim. Rather, it is intended to punish the defendant and discourage any repetition of this behavior.
Immediately After the Road Rage Crash
Whether the driver leaves the scene or stays to continue harassing you, it is important to remain calm and take steps to protect yourself and any potential claim.
Do not under any circumstance get out of your car, especially if the driver continues to curse or yell at you or tries to approach you. Keep your doors locked and windows up. If you feel unsafe, and your car still functions, drive to a more public area, such as a grocery store parking lot. A driver in a fit of road rage may be looking to force open your door or physically confront you.
Some ways to stay safe and attempt to deescalate the situation include:
- Avoid making eye contact – You could make the other driver angrier. Keep your eyes straight ahead and ignore them as much as you possibly can.
- Refrain from engaging the other driver – It is impossible to reason with an out-of-control angry person, and your safety comes first. You do not have to respond to any questions or gather insurance information in that moment. Even though you may want to defend yourself if you are being blamed for the crash, you could put yourself in more danger.
- Contact the police – Call 9-1-1 immediately and wait for assistance to arrive, or, if you can do so safely, consider driving to a police station instead.
- Drive to a public place – Other public places you can drive to include a grocery store parking lot or hospital. Road rage drivers may be less inclined to escalate things if other people are nearby.
What if the Driver Flees the Scene of the Crash?
Drivers who flee the scene are all too common after a road rage incident. Likely, the perpetrators do not want to face the legal consequences of their actions. If you are injured in a road rage crash, and the at-fault party drives off, there may still be avenues for recovery, such as through your own insurance policy. This is something you should discuss with a qualified attorney who has in-depth knowledge of insurance and state laws.
If you can look for any identifying information as the driver takes off, it may help police locate the driver that caused your crash, such as:
- Color, make and model of the car: Anything that stands out, like vehicle damage, could help police locate the car.
- License plate number: If you can get even part of the plate number, it could be helpful in identifying the car’s owner.
- Driver description: Identifying details about the driver – look for unique details, such as a scar or tattoo.
What You Should Know About Road Rage
Road rage and aggressive driving are often used interchangeably to describe a certain type of road behavior. However, while one can certainly lead to the other, they are not technically the same.
Common Behaviors of Road Rage
There are many types of road rage behavior, and many drivers are surprised to learn that they have done one or more of the following:
- Hurling profanities or verbal insults at others
- Waving a fist or making rude gestures
- Threatening with a gun or other firearm
- Laying on the car horn
- Aggressively tailgating, sideswiping or ramming on brakes
- Physically confronting another person or driver
Actions That Often Precipitate Road Rage
Sometimes a driver who commits acts of road rage may seemingly come out of nowhere, however, most road rage behavior is precipitated by some other action.
These triggers may include:
- Cutting someone off in traffic
- Failing to use a turn signal
- Being distracted by a cellphone
- Driving slow in the fast lane
- Using continuous high beams
Injured by a Hostile Driver? Call Our Firm for Legal Help
After a road rage crash, we strongly recommend that you contact an attorney for legal help as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options for recovery. Additionally, having legal representation early on can help you to avoid damaging legal mistakes and obtain critical evidence while it is still available.
Our law firm has recovered millions in compensation for injured victims, and we are ready to fight for a maximum recovery for you. Find out – at no cost or obligation to you – whether you may have a case. If you do and you choose to pursue a claim, you can do so with no money up front or while we work on your case. We only collect our payment when we recover compensation for you.
Experienced Lawyers. Millions Recovered. (865) 247-0080