The Automobile Association of America (AAA) reports that almost 80 percent of drivers will experience road rage at some point in time. However, road rage constitutes more than simply aggressive driving. Road rage is characterized by explosive anger and deliberately unsafe driving decisions. Whether drivers are in a rush, dealing with external stress, or frustrated with their daily commutes, they may exhibit violent and confrontational behaviors that put others at risk of serious harm.
This article will cover examples of road rage, safeguards against the behavior, and actions you should take as a potential victim.
What Are Some Examples of Road Rage?
Aggressive driving such as speeding and overtaking aren’t the only indications of road rage. People can also:
- Exit their vehicles at stop signs and stop lights to confront other drivers,
- Brandish or use weapons,
- Ram vehicles with their vehicle or use their autos as weapons in other ways, or
- Attempt to run over pedestrians or pretend to do so
In some instances, road rage accidents result from one angry driver intentionally causing harm to others. This can occur when a motorist is parked or when victims attempt to exit their vehicles in order to defend themselves or put an end to a situation.
If you are the victim of a road rage accident in South Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation, even if your injuries were not caused by a collision between vehicles.
What Causes Road Rage?
Drivers exhibiting road rage may have general anger management issues that are heightened whenever they get behind the wheel. Sometimes hair-trigger tempers while driving are the result of fatigue, pressure to get somewhere fast, or the use of substances. Alcohol, stimulants, and other intoxicants can make drivers edgy, irritable, and quick to respond in surprisingly unsafe ways.
Road rage can additionally be a learned and habitual behavior. Sometimes people with anger management issues react aggressively while driving because they enjoy a certain amount of anonymity in their autos. They know that they’re less likely to be held accountable for their behaviors when harassing people who don’t know them or may not be able to identify them.
How to Stop Road Rage From Escalating
The best way to prevent road rage from escalating is by refusing to respond in kind. If someone behind you honks repeatedly, makes rude gestures, or calls out insults, do your best to ignore them. If you’re being tailgated, kept from making lane changes, or harassed in other ways, attempt to let the other driver pass.
You can report road rage behaviors to the police even if they do not cause accidents. Try to get the other vehicle’s license number and jot down a brief description of the driver and their car.
Road Rage Can Both Cause and Amplify Physical Injuries
Road rage can be responsible for causing accidents that were otherwise unavoidable. However, it can also amplify the amount of damage that people and their property sustain. Actions such as speeding, overtaking, blocking evasive driving maneuvers, and preventing essential lane changes are all downright dangerous, especially when vehicles are moving fast. People exhibiting road rage have been known to force their targets off the road, and into oncoming traffic and other unsafe areas.
The Emotional Harm of Road Rage
Being in an auto accident caused by an angry, aggressive driver who’s purposefully attempting to cause you harm can result in lingering psychological trauma. If you’ve been involved in a road rage accident in South Carolina, you may experience:
- Panic attacks,
- Flashbacks of this event,
- Fear of driving,
- Social anxiety, or
- Sleep troubles.
Although receiving medical treatment for your physical injuries is important, it can also be important to be seen by a mental health professional.
If road rage causes any of these symptoms or if you’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as the result of a road rage accident, then your experience should be accounted for in the pain and suffering or mental anguish portions of your settlement.
What to Do If You’ve Been Physically Injured as the Result of Road Rage
If you’ve been in an accident as the result of road rage, be sure to contact the police as soon as your vehicle has come to a stop. You may feel unsafe asking the other driver for their information.
Depending upon their actions and the level of anger they’re exhibiting, it may be best to remain in your car until help arrives. While doing so, be sure to jot down their license number and their vehicle description. The more evidence you can collect, the easier it will be to hold the at-fault driver accountable. However, it’s always best to avoid confronting angry drivers directly in these situations.
Get a South Carolina Attorney for Your Road Rage Case
For road rage accidents, we go out of our way to collect evidence that’s often overlooked. We can speak with firsthand witnesses and use expert testimony to accurately recreate the event and establish fault. The law firm of David R. Price, Jr., P.A. can help you launch a personal injury claim with clear and comprehensive evidence of the other driver’s aggressive behavior.
Not only can we obtain this evidence for you, but we can also use it to help you get the highest settlement amount possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Road Rage Accidents in South Carolina
What’s the best way to prove that road rage had a hand in your accident?
Be sure to share all of the details of your accident when providing your statement for the police report. Tell the responding officer about the aggressive actions of the other party so that they’re included in the officer’s report.
What’s the most common cause of road rage?
Frustrating driving conditions are the most common cause of road rage. People are more likely to get angry and react aggressively when driving in stop-and-go traffic or heavy levels of traffic congestion.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.