Road rage is no joke. California’s traffic is bad enough that it can raise tempers past the boiling point. When that happens, everyday road encounters can turn into dangerous road rage incidents, sweeping up innocent bystanders in their wake.
California’s roads are filled with hazards, many of them created by other motorists. One survey found that 8 out of 10 people drive aggressively every single day. People drive distracted, don’t use their signals, swerve into lanes, tailgate, and drive aggressively all the time. If someone’s having a bad day, their emotions may get the better of them. But that doesn’t make it okay.
Road rage can come out of nowhere and escalate quickly. Some road rage behavior can actually be illegal, especially if it causes you harm or fear of harm. Threatening to harm someone or intentionally trying to harm another person on the road is unacceptable.
If you get caught up in a road rage incident, you may feel your own temper rising in response. But keeping your cool can actually help you protect yourself against someone else’s outburst. And if the situation does end up escalating with more serious consequences, you can protect your rights and demand damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Road rage happens when frustration and stress explode into anger and aggression.
Someone on the road may feel like they were “wronged” in some way – for example, because they got cut off or blocked from entering a lane. One small slight could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back after a long day, so they snap. But road rage may also be completely unrelated to anything happening on the actual road. Someone may be stressed about life circumstances, concerned about getting somewhere on time, or on an upsetting phone call.
A driver who is emotionally compromised in this way is a danger to themselves and everyone around them. A 5-year study found that aggressive driving played a factor in over half of fatal car crashes. 2021 was actually the worst year on record for road rage shootings.
Meanwhile, whoever “caused” the slight that set off the road rage may not even notice they’ve wronged anyone. They may have simply made a mistake without realizing.
Be on the lookout for signs of road rage, such as:
For some drivers, road rage can be a one-time incident where their emotions got the better of them. But many road rage incidents are actually caused by repeat offenders who regularly have issues managing their anger, both on and off the road.
Defensive driving is always a safe bet, but especially when facing road rage.
Even if you feel threatened by road rage, try your best to stay calm. And even if you feel the urge to respond in kind to road rage, try your best to avoid escalating the situation.
Ultimately, drivers are responsible for their own actions. No matter what you do, if someone is acting irrationally because of road rage, they’re liable for any harm that they cause. By staying calm, you can show that you did your best to avoid escalating the situation.
When road rage escalates, it can cause serious consequences, including car accidents.
If another driver’s anger, aggression, or rage causes a crash, then you can sue them for any injuries or losses you suffer. After all, they should be responsible for their actions.
To file a successful personal injury lawsuit after a road rage incident, you should get prompt medical attention, file a police report, get witness information, and write down exactly what happened while the details are fresh in your memory. Your lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to put forward the strongest case possible.
At Sepulveda Sanchez Law Firm, we help victims of road rage all across California and the Central Valley. Click here to contact our talented team of attorneys now for a consultation.