What Do I Do After a Road Rage Accident in North Carolina?

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A woman with road rage gesturies angrily in her car.

Road rage is a problem that many Americans may experience within their lifetime. Unfortunately, a study by the NHTSA indicated that up to 66% of vehicular fatalities can be attributed to aggressive driving. Furthermore, around 37% of traffic fatalities involved the use of a firearm, tailgating, or aggressive distractions such as honking, crude gestures, and other aggressive behaviors. As a result, thousands of road rage accidents happen daily in the United States, leading to preventable deaths and serious injuries.

Road rage is common in North Carolina. Many of us may have witnessed road rage first-hand or have heard horror stories from the news, family, or loved ones. Being on the receiving end of aggressive driving can be extremely frightening and disorientating. As many drivers seek to avoid engagement with a dangerous, aggressive driver, they often try to swerve away from the vehicle and may collide with another driver or be run off of the road. Many incidents involving road rage have led to multi-vehicle pile-ups or fatalities.

If you have been the victim of another driver’s aggression or been involved in a road rage accident, contact the experienced team of attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’, to receive your free, confidential case evaluation. Call (800) 529-0804 or contact us online today.

Why is Road Rage So Dangerous?

Road rage, or driver aggression, may occur when drivers attempt to take their anger out on other innocent drivers. Aggressive driving is hazardous as it often involves a lack of control, proper judgment, aggression, and, to top it off, the use of a heavy, dangerous vehicle. Additionally, drivers whom an aggressive driver has targeted can become so distracted by an aggressive driver’s behavior that they become involved in a collision by either being driven off the road or accidentally hitting another vehicle.

Sadly, the Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly 80% of drivers admit to engaging in aggressive driving within the last 30 days. The NHTSA reports that there are several leading causes driving individuals to drive aggressively, including:

  •   Running late for a meeting, work, or other appointments
  •   Delays due to accidents or construction
  •   Congested traffic
  •   Disregard for the law and other drivers
  •   Habitual aggressive behavior
  •   A sense of anonymity while driving

Road rage may be described as an aggressive driving practice that may include the following behaviors:

  •   Angry yelling, cursing, verbal intimation, or threats
  •   Obscene or angry gestures
  •   Exiting the vehicle to confront another driver
  •   Blocking a driver from changing lanes
  •   Tailgating
  •   Bumping into another driver
  •   Intentionally cutting off another driver
  •   Forcing a driver off the road
  •   Sideswiping another driver
  •   Intimidation tactics such as honking, flashing lights, driving erratically, or revving their engine.

Dealing With a Road Rage Accident

If you become involved with an aggressive driver, you must be very careful in these circumstances, as escalation may occur quickly. In the U.S., within the past seven years, over 200 murders have been associated with road rage. While it isn’t always possible to avoid being the victim of another driver’s anger, you may be able to reduce the risk of serious injury related to these occurrences. If you are involved with an aggressive driver:

  •   Do not engage with the other driver’s aggression, as it is not worth the risk of escalation. Resist any urge to respond or return any yelling or gestures
  •   Avoid making eye contact with the aggressive driver
  •   Try safely separating yourself from the aggressive driver by taking an exit, slowing down, or changing lanes.
  •   Avoid stopping as this may lead to the other driver getting out of the vehicle to approach your car in a confrontation.
  •   If the other driver is breaking traffic laws such as weaving between cars recklessly, speeding, or trying to force other drivers off the road, call the authorities to report them.
  •   Consider driving to the nearest police station if the driver continues to follow you.

Car Accident Caused by Road Rage

If you have been involved in a car accident caused by road rage, you should:

  • Ensure that your car is moved off the road (if it is drivable) so as not to obstruct traffic
  • Call authorities immediately and request an ambulance if you have been injured.
  •  Keep your eyes on the other vehicle and try to ensure that you have the license plate number of the aggressive driver, if possible, and/or the car’s description.
  • Unless you are in danger, it is best to remain in the vehicle until authorities arrive to avoid a physical confrontation with the aggressive driver.
  • Following a car collision, you should seek medical attention right away to have any injuries evaluated. Some injuries such as whiplash or other soft tissue injuries may not be apparent right away, especially after the adrenaline rush associated with the accident.

Road Rage Accident

A road rage accident may lead to costly medical expenses, vehicle repair bills, and injuries. If an aggressive driver caused your accident, you would likely be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim. However, some car insurance companies will not cover road rage accidents, or fault may otherwise be disputed. Call an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney to review your legal options for compensation. Knowledgeable car accident lawyers may be able to negotiate with insurers or suggest other alternatives for pursuing compensation for your damages.

Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed due to an accident involving road rage, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for your damages, including pain and suffering. Aggressive drivers may be financially responsible for your accident damages if their actions lead to the accident. Contact the experienced car collision attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’, to receive your free, no-obligation consultation by calling (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online.