Road Rage and Aggressive Driving
Sept. 7, 2022
Impatient, rude, and angry motorists are a common sight on our roads. But, what if a driver crosses the line and engages in road rage or aggressive driving? Virginia law requires every driver to exercise due care and avoid putting themselves and others at risk. The duty is breached when a motorist becomes violent behind the wheel or drives in an aggressive manner.
There is no excuse for road rage or aggressive driving, as these two behaviors can lead to preventable car accidents. If you or someone you care about has been hurt at the hands of someone else’s road rage or aggressive driving, consider contacting a car accident attorney to help you hold the other driver accountable and recover compensation on your behalf.
At Blaszkow Legal, PLLC, we will work to help you prove the other driver’s fault and fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. With an office in Alexandria, Virginia, we handle personal injury cases throughout the state, including Arlington, Woodbridge, Fairfax, and Manassas.
What Is Road Rage?
Road rage is an unsafe driving behavior that may lead to criminal charges. Road rage is characterized by violent or angry actions that can lead to altercations, assaults, and preventable collisions. While different factors can trigger road rage, some of the most common causes of road rage include:
Heavy traffic. While nobody enjoys being stuck in traffic for hours, some people may lose their cool behind the wheel.
Anonymity. We share the road with people we will probably never see again, especially when driving in big cities with large populations. That sense of anonymity emboldens some drivers, which is why they may be more likely to engage in road rage.
Other drivers’ behavior. Drivers are more likely to experience road rage when they encounter motorists who tailgate, cut them off, make rude gestures, and engage in other behaviors that may upset or irritate others on the road.
Anger issues. Drivers with underlying anger issues are more likely to engage in road rage if they cannot keep their emotions under control.
Road rage can manifest in different ways, from verbal expressions and physical gestures to unsafe maneuvers on the road.
Understanding Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving is a combination of moving traffic offenses that endanger other motorists or their property. Some of the most common forms of aggressive driving include:
Abrupt lane changes
Cutting other drivers off
Blocking vehicles attempting to pass or change lanes
When driving aggressively, a motorist may also experience road rage to vent their anger and frustration behind the wheel. Under Virginia law, aggressive driving is punished as a Class 2 misdemeanor charge.
The difference between road rage and aggressive driving is that the former may involve a deliberate attempt to hurt another person. When experiencing road rage, a driver may be prone to using a firearm or another weapon to harm another person or cause damage to their property.
Aggressive driving, on the other hand, involves risky driving behaviors that can increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents. A motorist who operates their vehicle in an aggressive manner may put the safety and lives of other people in danger.
What to Do if You Encounter Road Rage or Aggressive Driving?
Drivers may encounter aggressive drivers or motorists who manifest road rage on a daily basis. However, it is important to know what to do to defuse the situation and prevent a motor vehicle accident. Follow these rules if you encounter road rage or aggressive driving while operating your vehicle:
Do not become engaged with the driver. Do not respond to their rude behavior or aggressive driving maneuvers. The less you interact, the better for everyone.
Contact law enforcement. If de-escalation does not help and the driver is trying to confront or follow you, call the police to report the problem.
Talk to witnesses. If an accident occurs because the other driver was driving aggressively or engaged in road rage, you will need to gather as much evidence as possible.
Seek medical attention. If you were injured in an accident caused by road rage or aggressive driving, it is vital to receive medical care and document your injuries.
Speak with an attorney. After an accident resulting from someone else’s road rage or aggressive driving, you may need to consider contacting an experienced attorney to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
At Blaszkow Legal, PLLC, we represent victims of car accidents in Alexandria and neighboring areas in Virginia. Contact us today to discuss your compensation options if you have been in a motor vehicle accident due to road rage or aggressive driving.
When Road Rage and Aggressive Driving Lead to Accidents
Both road rage and aggressive driving increase the risk of car accidents on our roads. Drivers must exercise due care when operating a motor vehicle. Driving aggressively or expressing road rage behind the wheel breaches the duty of care and endangers other people on the road.
Every driver is responsible for their actions on the road, which is why motorists who engage in road rage or aggressive driving and cause harm to others should be held accountable. If you or your loved one was in an accident resulting from someone else’s aggressive driving or road rage, learn more about your legal rights and options for compensation by contacting a knowledgeable attorney.
Work With an Experienced Attorney
An experienced and results-driven attorney at Blaszkow Legal, PLLC assists car accident victims and their families in Alexandria, Virginia, and throughout the state. If you or someone you love has been hurt at the hands of road rage or aggressive driving, reach out to our office to receive a case evaluation. We can help you seek justice and obtain the compensation you need to get your life back on track.