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

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Elkhorn, WI

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Why does road rage sometimes lead to a crash?

Road rage is a serious safety concern for drivers in Wisconsin. In fact, Wisconsin has some of the highest rates of road rage out of all the states in the country. Drivers in Wisconsin frequently express hostility to each other in traffic, engage in aggressive tailgating and even follow each other to fight about behavior while driving.

Road rage is awkward to witness and unpleasant for those on the receiving end of the hostility. It can also be a source of collision risk. How does the intense emotional reaction of one driver put people at increased risk of a car crash?

Road rage divides a driver’s attention

People on their way to the grocery store or making their commute home from work should make safety their top priority at all times. Drivers generally need to monitor their surroundings very carefully to reduce their chances of involvement in a motor vehicle collision. When a driver becomes fixated on the conduct of another motorist, they may fail to notice other changes in traffic conditions. If they focus on someone that they perceive to have cut them off or otherwise wronged them, that might mean that they make a mistake when maneuvering in traffic and cause a completely preventable crash.

Road rage triggers unpredictable conduct

For someone to drive safely, others nearby need to understand what they intend to do. Drivers communicate with one another using gestures, eye contact and turn indicators. Someone driving in an aggressive manner might weave in and out of lanes of traffic or engage in other unpredictable conduct, like cutting someone off and then slamming on their brakes. The erratic and unpredictable behavior of someone who has given into their emotions at the wheel can very easily to a crash with the person that they target or with anyone else who encounters them in traffic.

Motorists accused of road rage in Wisconsin could end up cited for causing a crash or even charged with reckless driving. They can also be financially liable for the effects of the incident. The people affected by road rage might need to seek compensation after the car crash an angry driver caused. Both car insurance and civil lawsuits can sometimes help those affected by road rage on Wisconsin roads.

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