Road rage is of growing concern in this country. According to AAA, it’s estimated that as much as 80% of Louisiana drivers have experienced some degree of road rage. Typically, these events play themselves out with no one the wiser because most drivers can keep their tempers in check and avoid direct confrontation. There are times, though, that things escalate quickly and become a major safety hazard for those involved, other drivers, and law enforcement. Road rage can continue to escalate and cause car accidents with major injuries or even deaths let in its wake. If you are suffering injuries due to another driver’s road rage that led to an accident, you should consider contacting a car accident attorney to protect your rights and your future.
What is Road Rage?
In many cases, road rage is a passive event. For the most part, when we’re safely behind the wheel in our own vehicles, we can mumble under our breath or even roll our eyes, neither of which alert other drivers to our frustrations. But when that passive behavior becomes aggressive, this is when the danger aspect peaks. A few of the more typical signs of road rage include tailgating, incessantly blowing the horn to get someone to change lanes, using obscene gestures, rolling the window down to hurl insults and foul language, just to name a few.
Road Rage vs. Negligence
Accidents that happen due to road rage are unlike those caused by negligent driving. While both leave a driver vulnerable, with road rage, the acts are intentional. An angry driver deliberately puts others in danger with their aggressive rage. Negligence also puts others at risk, but negligent drivers don’t deliberately jeopardize others. Those drivers whose rage is dangerous might do any of the following:
- Intentionally hits another driver’s vehicle with their own
- Intentionally drives others off the road
- Intentionally tailgates other drivers
It is unfortunate and it’s also illegal. Just as the vast majority of drivers have experienced some degree of frustration or exhibited milder elements of road rage towards other drivers, a full 90% of drivers say they have been the victim of road rage. Most report less dramatic incidents, but there are serious cases in courtrooms across the country today that resulted in bodily injury and other losses severe enough to require a court’s involvement.
The reality is we cannot force someone to behave, but when it’s clear we are witnessing road rage, we have an obligation to report these aggressive drivers, especially since they are likely committing a crime. We asked the Louisiana State Police what a driver should do if he or she witnesses road rage. You should dial *LSP (*577) from your phone and report the incident.
What should you do if you’ve been the victim of road rage? It’s important to remain calm and not react with your own aggressive behavior. This is what leads to both drivers pulling over and ultimately ending up in violent confrontations or worse.
What starts as an overreaction to a minor traffic irritation can quickly become a case of road rage that results in an accident. If you find the need for a qualified Louisiana car accident lawyer, we encourage you to contact Cossé Law Firm to discuss all of your legal options.