A top-down view of a lawyer's hands working on a client's case on a silver-gray laptop.Getting irritated on the road happens to the best of us, but generally, it’s relegating to a few choice swear words. Still, when a driver begins to use vulgar hand gestures, brake checking, tailing, aggressive lane creeping, and even whipping out weapons at a street light, it is when road rage creates a dangerous environment on the road.

Over the years, road rage has become a serious growing issue across America. Although many stick to hollering in their cars, others take their road rage to a whole other level.

Road rage may seem harmless, but some cases get out of hand, where aggressive drivers use their cars to hit the victim purposefully — in some cases, with the intention to kill.

Most drivers can control their emotions on the road, but you are not alone if you encounter someone who uses their road rage to cause an accident. At Bert McDowell Injury Law, we take road rage accidents seriously and do what we can to recover the compensation you need after a belligerent driver causes a wreck.

Schedule a free, confidential initial consultation where you can discuss your case and determine what damages you could be available when you call (203) 633-7449 or contact us online.

What a Hartford Road Rage Accident Attorney Can Do to Help You

The consequences of a road rage accident can cause serious disabilities and impairments that can last for the rest of the victim’s life. 37% of reported aggressive driving involves a firearm, meaning that the results can quickly become deadly.

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you may be entitled to after enduring road rage aggression from a perpetrator. Your attorney will discuss the incident that caused your injuries, learn about what happened, and begin researching to build your case.

Road rage accidents come with criminal and civil charges. Your attorney will want to speak to the police department on your behalf.

Since there is likely a dual charge against the perpetrator by multiple parties, there will need to be additional communication between parties that otherwise would not be necessary.

A Road Rage Accident Lawyer Helps You Get Compensation

Although the other party caused the injuries and property damage, their insurance companies will do whatever it takes to get out of paying for your losses. An experienced road rage accident lawyer will serve as your advocate throughout the claims process.

No direct law in Connecticut directly protects someone from road rage, but the law protects the public through personal injury claims. In addition, the state or local municipality may choose to press criminal charges.

Your attorney will work closely with insurers, police, and the courts to ensure you receive the compensation to which your case is entitled.

What Causes Road Rage?

Road rage can be unpredictable, but it can be a response to traffic congestion, impatience, impulsivity, a general decline of courtesy and civility, a sense of territory (like they own the road), the sense that the driver believes they fully control their vehicle, and drivers who are generally running late.

Overall, it’s a dangerous combination of aggressive thinking and risky driving that contributes to the accidents and injuries caused by road rage. Whatever the reason for their anger, it does not justify treating someone else, let alone hurting someone, because of it.

What to Do if You Are in a Road Rage Incident

With road rage becoming more common, one will likely be a victim of a roadway incident at one point or another. Drivers should do anything to prevent accidents and getting hurt, including escalating road rage incidents.

Below are a few tips if you find yourself the victim of road rage.

Keep Calm and Collected

Staying calm and unreactive can help diffuse the situation. Road rage drivers are emotional when they react, and any reciprocation or acknowledgment of their actions can escalate the situation. It is best to stay calm, cool, and collected to help prevent worsening circumstances.

Avoid Eye Contact

Making eye contact means you acknowledge the other party’s actions and can be perceived as a challenge. Making eye contact with them may set them off to more aggressive and life-threatening actions.

Refrain From Contributing to the Road Rage

It is tempting to return inflammatory gestures and four-letter swear words, but you should do your best not to do this. Honking the horn incessantly also contributes to making others bothered and upset.

Contributing to the escalating emotions of the situation can cause a car accident or lead to more aggressive and life-threatening acts from the perpetrator—like pulling out a gun.

Drivers should have tolerance for others with road rage while on the road, but the moment it creates an accident, that tolerance should end. Call an attorney right away.

Follow Road Rules

With an increasing number of drivers speeding and using aggressive maneuvers on the road, other drivers must take precautions before heading toward their next destination. Aggressive and road rage incidents can quickly escalate, so drivers need to make sure that they are not contributing to the situation by:

  • Driving on the left lane (a passing lane) —  If you are being tailed, get out of the way
  • Following traffic laws —  Always follow road rules to help prevent accidents
  • Finding another parking space — It might be tempting to fight for a spot, but the chances of getting hurt are not worth it
  • Leaving room in front of you when stopped — Allowing yourself room between you and the car in front of you gives you an easy exit when necessary
  • Report aggressive driving to authorities — Road rage happens, but authorities will not know unless they are told. Include information like type of car, color, and license plate
  • Practice safety — If someone gets out of their car, lock your doors and stay in your car. Call 911 right away.

No matter what you do, you may still get caught up in someone else’s temper tantrum. Know that this is never your fault! The only way to share blame is to contribute to the escalation of the situation.

Always report the incident to the police, and try to exchange information with the driver. If the driver refuses to provide their insurance information, immediately write down their license plate number and a physical description of the angry suspect.

Why Do People Commit Road Rage?

It is normal for someone to have moments of road rage. Usually, the anger doesn’t come from the road but from another factor that is out of their control.

However, usual road rage is not aggressive to the point that they pull a weapon or get out of their car to physically hurt someone.

Typically, people experience moments of road rage when:

  • Confusing conditions — Unclear construction signs, obstacles in the road, bumps, or unexpected delays can also heighten stress and contribute to road rage incidents. Sometimes, construction areas cannot be avoided, so drivers should plan accordingly and use alternative routes if available.
  • External factors — Disappointing news, stress at home, health problems, and many other issues can weigh on your mind and affect your day-to-day life. It is expected to have bad days. But we all must make sure to avoid releasing our anger while driving. If you’re struggling mentally, it’s wise to delay driving until you can think clearly.
  • Passengers — Talking to passengers can be one of the causes of an accident, especially in a road rage case. If there is an argument or disagreement that happens while with a passenger, drivers must make sure that they do not drive aggressively or angrily. Arguing in the car can create a distracting environment, leading to an accident.
  • Traffic — Standstill traffic can frustrate even the most patient of drivers. As more and more people move into Hartford, they will need to use the road system to get to their next location. Therefore, it’s no surprise that traffic and chaotic driving conditions may increase the chances of road rage.
  • Weather — Whether rain, snow, or fog, bad weather will confuse and frustrate drivers. Bad weather limits visibility, creating an already stressful and tense driving situation. The chances of road rage amplify when the change in weather is unexpected. Drivers may be quick to anger in poor weather conditions.

Common Kinds of Injuries Sustained in Road Rage Incidents

Road rage can quickly escalate. Although drivers should do whatever possible to prevent the situation from worsening, sometimes that is impossible.

Impact Injuries

An angry driver will not think twice about causing property damage; their purpose is to hurt someone amid their rage, no matter how it happens. They will swerve into your lane, brake-check you, and smash into your car on purpose.

Victims will have bruises, lacerations, burns, head injuries, broken bones, and more–the typical injuries sustained in a car accident.

Direct Violence

When angry drivers leave their cars, they will likely want to throw a punch or two. Even worse, some angry drivers keep guns in their cars and will not think twice about using them.

The best thing you can do in these incidents is remain in your vehicle and do what you can to leave the scene safely.

Victims may experience serious and life-threatening wounds if they are not careful in these situations like bruises, cuts, broken bones, TBIs, and gunshot wounds.

Psychological Injuries

After enduring an event of a violent nature, victims will face anxiety, fear, PTSD, and similar psychological conditions. Victims may begin to have panic attacks, anxiety, fear of driving, or develop trigger responses as a result.

After an incident, victims should seek therapy to discuss and work towards healing from their trauma.

Hire a Hartford Road Rage Accident Law Firm Today

Encountering a road rage incident is becoming more common each day, resulting in significant injuries, property damage, and possibly a threat to one’s life. Personal injury law protects you from road rage accident damages, and you have every right to file a claim for the compensation your case is entitled to.

Bring on, Bert! Call Bert McDowell Injury Law today; let us review your case during an initial consultation and show you how we can help.

Call (203) 633-7449 or contact us online to start your case and get help holding angry and irrational people accountable for the damages they inflict.