Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

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Elkhorn, WI

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How road rage can affect your safety on public roads

Road rage doesn’t seem to make the news as much as it once did, but it is still a shockingly common occurrence on roads all over the United States. People let their emotions get the best of them while driving, leading to dangerous driving or even violence.

Research into road rage incidents shows that they have increased. Fatal crashes caused by road rage have gone up by approximately 500% in the last decade. People become emotional and let their feelings distract them. Once they try to lash out at other drivers, they could present a danger to others on the road.

While you may do your best to remain calm and present while driving, other drivers may let their frustrations and emotions get the better of them. Road rage can lead to preventable collisions due to aggressive driving or distraction caused by an emotional response. In some cases, road rage can even result in physical violence between drivers.

What kind of behavior constitutes road rage?

Road rage can look like a lot of different behaviors on the road. For some people, road rage will primarily involve them angrily honking and cursing at other drivers whom they perceived to have cut them off or otherwise inconvenience them. At least a third of drivers admit to making obscene gestures at others on the road, and 47% of drivers admit to yelling at other drivers.

Road rage could involve one driver aggressively attempting to pass or even intentionally cut off another driver on the road. In some cases, road rage escalates, resulting in one driver following the other and attempting to physically assault them when they exit their vehicle.

What rights do you have as a victim of road rage?

Whether another driver cut you off and a collision resulted because of their erratic driving or you experienced physical violence or threats of violence from someone on the road, you likely have rights under the law.

In some cases, state prosecutors may charge someone who becomes violent in a road rage incident. However, criminal charges won’t undo the damage someone has caused you. You may need to consider bringing a civil lawsuit against a driver whose road rage directly contributed to a collision that left you with property damage or injuries.

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