Simple frustrations are often responsible for escalated incidents of road rage. Sometimes a driver will make a rash decision that will anger another driver. Other times a driver will misunderstand another driver’s actions as aggressive driving. Many times drivers bring their non-driving frustrations onto the road and let their emotions affect their driving ability.
Regardless of how petty or insignificant the initial distraction was, road rage and aggressive driving can have catastrophic consequences. Road rage and aggressive driving can lead to motor vehicle collisions, injuries or death. Aggressive driving, such as speeding, switching lanes recklessly and/or without signals and following other vehicles too closely, can lead to collisions. If someone is injured in an accident caused by aggressive driving, the driver can be held liable for the damages, injuries or deaths that result from the collision. In Illinois, road rage is a criminal offense.
Causes of Road Rage
Road rage can be caused by any number of factors – a bad day at work, lack of sleep, perceive aggressive behavior, and driver misunderstandings. Traffic congestion is also a major contributor to road rage. According to this study conducted by the Automobile Association, some of the worst cases of road rage happen when drivers do not have the opportunity to leave the situation due to traffic congestion.
Driver conflicts can also result due to unclear road priorities. For instance, two drivers may both think that they have the right of way. Drivers’ failure to obey the rules of the road in lane mergers and similar situations is also a common irritation of drivers.
Recommendations for Avoiding Road Rage
- Be aware of and manage potential contributing factors, such as stress and fatigue.
- Be aware of situations that are likely to cause frustration, such as traffic congestion, and be tolerant of other drivers during these situations.
- Do not assume that a driver’s action was intended to be an act of aggressive driving.
- Avoid making eye contact with aggressive drivers.
- Do not be tempted to accelerate, brake, or swerve suddenly as it can be seen as confrontational and it increases your chances of losing control of your vehicle.
- If you are being hassled by another driver, drive to the nearest police station to get help.
- Leave enough space to pull out from behind the car in front of you.
- Take driving breaks, as necessary.
Contact the Chicago auto accident attorneys at Ankin Law to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you if you have been in an auto accident involving road rage.
Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.