Being prepared with effective strategies for preventing road rage accidents can protect you in a potentially dangerous situation. If you are hurt in a crash with an aggressive driver, an experienced car accident lawyer can help safeguard your rights and help you receive a fair payout.
What is Road Rage, and Why is it So Dangerous?
Road rage refers to aggressive and often dangerous behavior exhibited by drivers on the road. It involves deliberate actions to intimidate, harass, or harm other road users or their property. Common signs of road rage include:
- Intentional cutting off or brake checking. Aggressive drivers might abruptly cut in front of others or slam on their brakes to provoke a reaction.
- Blocking mergers. Aggressive motorists may deliberately prevent other drivers from merging into their lane, leading to accidents or prolonged confrontations on the road.
- Excessive use of horns and lights. Aggressive drivers often use their horns excessively or flash their lights to intimidate others.
- Verbal confrontations. Shouting, rude gestures, and verbal altercations with fellow drivers are common signs of road rage.
- Crash-inducing behavior. Some drivers may deliberately cause accidents or try to make others crash by swerving, braking abruptly, or cutting off the other driver.
- Attempts to run off the road. Aggressive drivers may aggressively tailgate or attempt to run another driver off the road.
- Physical harm. In some extreme cases, road rage can lead to intentional physical harm to other road users or their vehicles. For instance, the aggressive party may use weapons, such as a firearm, to threaten the victim.
Road rage is dangerous because it can quickly escalate into violent and life-threatening situations. Aggressive driving behaviors can lead to accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety 2020 data, aggressive vehicle operation contributed to 1,334 crashes in South Carolina, resulting in 40 fatalities and 93 serious injuries.
How to Handle Road Rage in SC
Dealing with a driver exhibiting road rage can be intimidating, but you can take steps to de-escalate the situation and report the driver to authorities. Here are some practical steps to help you deal with road rage incidents effectively:
- Stay calm and avoid retaliation. When confronted by an aggressive driver, your first and most crucial step is to stay calm. Avoid making eye contact or gestures that might further provoke the aggressive driver. Instead, focus on your safety and well-being. Take deep breaths to help you remain composed.
- Maintain distance. Increase the distance between your vehicle and the aggressive driver. If they are tailgating, consider changing lanes or pulling over to let them pass. Keeping a safe distance reduces the risk of collisions.
- Avoid confrontation. If an aggressive driver attempts to instigate a conflict, do not engage. Don’t pull over in an attempt to talk with the driver or confront them at a stoplight. Engaging with an aggressive driver can escalate the situation further.
- Do not exit the vehicle. If an aggressive driver confronts you, stay inside your car with the windows up and doors locked. Only exit your vehicle if you are in a safe, public place, and it becomes necessary for your safety.
- Call 911. If you believe the situation is escalating or the aggressive driver threatens you or others on the road, call 911 immediately. Provide a detailed description of the aggressive driver’s vehicle, including the license plate number, your location, and the direction the vehicle is headed. Follow any instructions the operator provides.
- Seek safe refuge. If you feel threatened and the situation allows, drive to a busy public place, such as a gas station, police station, or fire department. The presence of other people and authorities can deter aggressive behavior.
- Document the incident. If it’s safe, take notes or record details about the aggressive driver, their vehicle, and the incident. This information can be valuable for law enforcement and insurance purposes.
- Report the incident. Report aggressive driving incidents to the local police department or the South Carolina Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on your mobile phone. Reporting these incidents helps authorities take action against dangerous drivers. If an aggressive driver has caused an accident, report the crash in a collision report form.
- Install a dash cam. If you spend a lot of time on the road and are concerned about encountering aggressive drivers, consider installing a dash cam in your vehicle. Dash cams can capture valuable evidence for road rage incident claims, such as the driver’s behavior before the collision.
- Speak with an attorney. When another’s aggressive driving behavior leads to a crash, seek the help of a qualified car accident attorney At Joye Law Firm, we can review your case and explain the potential avenues for compensation.
We can also help you gather evidence, such as traffic camera footage or witness statements, to support your claim so you receive what you deserve after being injured in a road rage incident.
Contact a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Today
Road rage is a serious concern that requires vigilance and a calm approach to prevent accidents. If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, our car accident attorneys, can protect your rights to a fair settlement.
We routinely win millions in compensation for car accident victims, including $5.9 million, $3.85 million, and $2.2 million settlements for those involved in auto accidents in South Carolina.
Contact us today for a free case review to get started on your claim.