Road rage does not have a specific definition, but motorists know it when they see it. Generally, it is considered an extreme form of aggressive driving, which may culminate in one driver physically attacking another.
No matter the exact circumstances, road rage is dangerous and often criminal.
Road Rage Psychology
Driving is inherently risky. No driver knows exactly what he or she will face each time they exit their driveway, whether a long trip is in the offing or it is just a short trek to the store. You do not know the experience level of those with whom you are sharing the road, whether they are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs behind the wheel, or whether they are using cellphones while driving and becoming a distracted driving hazard.
Often, the road rage trigger is not actually what happens while driving. A driver may have had a fight with a spouse, an issue at work, or finds they are late to an appointment and rushing. They are already angry and upset when they get into their car.
It is wise to avoid driving when emotionally upset, but that is not always realistic. It is important to realize that you are upset and that whatever another driver is doing that gets on your nerves is usually not directed specifically at you.
While anyone can experience road rage, young males are more likely to do so than other individuals. It is also more common in certain people diagnosed with psychological issues and anger management problems.
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
While aggressive driving is not road rage per se, it does not take much to escalate from driving aggressively to assaulting another driver or damaging their vehicle.
Aggressive driving that may lead to road rage includes:
- Cutting off other vehicles
- Honking the horn
- Flashing the headlights
- Failing to use turn signals
- Checking the brakes.
Road Rage Examples
Road rage is a criminal offense. Those arrested for road rage face going to court and paying fines if found guilty. In some cases, the driver found guilty of road rage could face jail time.
Behaviors exemplifying road rage may include:
- Running a driver off the road
- Purposely hitting another vehicle
- Threatening with a weapon or actually using it on another driver
- Encouraging passengers in the vehicle to fight with another driver
- Physically confronting another driver outside of the vehicles
Road Rage Prevention
It is not possible to prevent every episode of road rage. But there are things a victimized driver can do to de-escalate the situation.
First, if you did accidentally cut someone off or otherwise cause a traffic issue, mouth an apology to the angry driver. If necessary, pull over to a safe area so the driver can pass you. But if you fear for your physical safety, call 911.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Fight for Injured Victims of Road Rage Accidents
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident caused by someone else’s road rage, or any other type of motor vehicle accident, you need the services of the experienced Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Call us today at 302-888-1221 for a free consultation or contact us online. We have offices in Wilmington and Philadelphia, serving clients across Delaware, including Dover, Newark and Middletown, as well as serving clients across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.