If you have ever driven a vehicle or even been a passenger, then there is a good chance that you have experienced anger and frustration at others on the road! Whether this is because another driver cut in front of you or someone is driving unnecessarily slow, it is a natural reaction to feel a little agitated. However, the problem arises when that frustration escalates into full-blown road rage, which can often lead to accidents. Road rage falls under the category of aggressive driving, which accounts for around 56% of auto accidents every year. If you have been involved in a road rage incident that has resulted in injury, you may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Knoxville to assist in filing a lawsuit.
What is Road Rage?
Road rage is something we all are guilty of at some point in our lifetime. For most people, it is expressed in relatively harmless ways. One road rage study found that 45% of drivers will yell inside their own vehicle, 35% will aggressively honk their horn, and 22% will make a rude gesture towards another driver. These examples of road rage don't cause any lasting harm or damage and can be a safe way to vent frustration when upset by another driver's careless or dangerous actions. However, road rage doesn't end with these harmless gestures. Sometimes it escalates to include retaliation and dangerous behavior, including:
- Pulling in front of another driver and hitting the brakes
- Cutting off another driver while in traffic
- Speeding or tailgating
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Intentionally bumping into another vehicle
- Ignoring pedestrians and other road users at crossings and junctions
Aside from using the vehicle in these aggressive ways, some drivers escalate even further to the point of intentionally pursuing violence towards another due to the road rage they are experiencing. This might include dragging the other driver out of the vehicle to assault them, attempting to run them off the road, or run them over if they get out of the vehicle. In some cases, road rage incidents have even escalated to include firearms. There are a number of ways that an individual can be injured or even killed when someone loses control during a fit of road rage. A personal injury lawyer in Knoxville can work with you to file a lawsuit helping you recover any damages that you are owed as a result of your injuries.
How Can Road Rage Increase the Risk of An Accident?
Even though deliberately choosing to hit another vehicle as an act of retaliation only accounts for a small percentage of road rage injuries, many cases in which drivers suffering from road rage unintentionally cause auto accidents. Road rage makes the likelihood of getting into an accident much higher. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why.
- Anger Affects Your Judgement - When someone suffers from severe road rage, they are likely to do things they would never usually dream of! This is because anger has an impact on your overall judgment causing you to make bad decisions. For example, if you are angry, you may run a red light rather than take the time to stop and wait.
- Rage Impairs Response Time - You may also find that you have much slower response times when you are angry. Road rage often triggers speeding, elevating the risk of an accident. However, if your reaction time is also impaired while you are speeding, the danger increases dramatically as you may not have the quick response needed if you need to avoid a hazard.
- Road Rage Triggers Dangerous Behaviors - As discussed above, when road rage hits, it can prompt some dangerous behaviors, all of which can increase the chances of an accident. For example, tailgating to intimidate or annoy a car that cuts in front of you can end in disaster if the vehicle has to break suddenly, leaving you in a situation where you need a personal injury lawyer in Knoxville.
- Anger Prompts Unpredictable Behavior - When a driver is suffering from road rage, they are not only presenting an immediate danger to themselves and their perceived enemy but also putting everyone else on the road at risk. As noted, rage triggers dangerous behaviors, which means other road users cannot predict what that driver will do next. This could very easily result in a collision.
If you find yourself in an accident involving road rage, it is important that you stay calm and follow the same steps as you would for any other auto accident. The one additional factor may be ensuring you are safe if the situation is still volatile. Once you have spoken with the authorities and secured your vehicle in a safe place where it won't obstruct traffic, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Knoxville. Your lawyer will help you to navigate a personal injury lawsuit and help you to recover damages for any injuries sustained during the road rage incident.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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