We’ve all either been the victim of or been the perpetrator when it comes to having a bit of rage while on the road. It never fails that the person ahead of you is driving too slow or doesn’t put his or her blinker on when turning, or that the person behind you can’t seem to back far enough away from your rear fender for you to even see the hood of the car. We all sometimes get frustrated by other drivers while on the road, but there are times when some individuals take this frustration to a new level, resulting in road rage that brings harm to themselves or other people.
What is the definition of aggressive driving and road rage?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration terms minor road rage as “aggressive driving,” and defines it as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” While rude behavior and even outrageous hand signals are becoming more typical these days, the number of incidents related to road rage in Charlotte, NC that is physically harmful to other people is cause for concern. What happens when aggressive driving becomes full-fledged road rage? While aggressive driving that could endanger someone is still considered a traffic offense, road rage, which involves an assault with a weapon or another vehicle which is intended to harm someone, is considered a criminal offense, and could result in very serious charges. Our Charlotte car accident lawyers can provide you with more information regarding these charges.
Research has shown that road rage cases more frequently involve males under the age of 19 than any other demographic. Additionally, over a seven year period, more than 200 fatalities and over 12,000 injuries were recorded that were directly related to road rage. Additionally, experts have shown that aggressive driving is the potential cause of over half of all traffic fatalities.
What can I do to avoid being the victim of aggressive driving?
While it is sometimes tempting to retaliate when you are the victim of aggressive driving, a moment of satisfaction from retaliation is not worth the potential harm that could come your way if you cross a person who cannot control his or her anger. It is always a better decision to drive carefully and try to avoid all confrontation. What measures should you take to ensure you are not the recipient of aggressive driving behavior?
- Do not tailgate – While tailgating might make you feel like you are doing something to speed up the car in front of you, the truth is that this practice is not only dangerous (what if the person in front of you suddenly slams on the brakes or does not use a turn signal before making a turn?), but it can also irritate a person to the point of turning to harmful measures to release his or her anger.
- Do not cut people off – It is always a good idea to leave plenty of room in between you and other cars when you are passing them or making a turn onto a new road. In this case, as well, cutting people off is not only frustrating, but it could also be potentially dangerous and cause you to be involved in a traffic accident if you are too close to the person behind you.
- Do not drive slowly in the left-hand lane – While this practice might not be quite as dangerous as the two mentioned above, it is a widely recognized rule that the left-hand lane of a highway is reserved as the “fast lane,” in which drivers can make passes and drive at higher speeds than when in the other lanes. Staying in this lane when driving slowly can cause traffic backups and very angry drivers.
- Do not drive while distracted – Texting and driving is one of the major offenses when it comes to road rage. Many drivers think they can manage texting and driving simultaneously, when in reality, it makes for distracted and careless driving. Additionally, this practice is also illegal and could result in a traffic ticket, or worse, a fatality of your own fault.
- Always use a turn signal – While using a turn signal might seem minor to you, to many people it is part of a set of best practices of driving that should be strictly adhered to. Also, using a turn signal ensures that the person behind you knows that you will be slowing down in the near future to make your turn, which could help you avoid an accident.
What should I do if I am the victim of road rage?
If you find yourself in a situation where you suspect a driver has road rage that is directed towards you, it’s extremely important to try to put as much room as possible between yourself and the aggressive driver. If you deem it necessary, call 911 for backup or drive to the nearest public area in order to get away from the other car. Never drive to your home or stop and get out of your car to talk to someone who might have road rage. If the person has hit your car or has intended to harm you in any way and the police have been called, be sure to obtain a copy of the police report and seek medical attention to ensure that no other injuries have been sustained.
Consult with a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been the victim of a road rage accident and need the help of a skilled Charlotte car accident lawyer, please contact us at Ted A. Greve and Associates today. There are situations where your injuries or other complications from your accident could qualify you for compensation. Our lawyers are happy to help you navigate through this potentially scary and stressful situation, and will stay by your side throughout the entire process to ensure that you receive the best care and results from your case.