What’s the Difference Between Road Rage and Aggressive Driving?
Aggressive driving and road rage are both dangerous. While one is a traffic offense, the other is a crime. Let’s look at the main difference between aggressive driving and road rage.
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To get a FREE legal consultation, call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online. We do not charge a fee unless we win you money. Call now to get started for FREE.
Road Rage Versus Aggressive Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving means driving in a way that “endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.”
Aggressive driving actions include:
- Passing on the wrong side.
- Cutting others off.
- Running red lights.
- Not signaling when changing lanes.
- Honking at others.
- Weaving in and out of traffic.
- Not yielding the right of way.
- Punishing others with headlights or brakes.
- Blocking other drivers.
Aggressive Driving Penalties
Aggressive driving actions are moving violations. The penalties vary by state. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), you can face fines up to $200 per violation.
As you can see, aggressive driving is not okay. However, road rage is even worse. Road rage is a criminal offense. It’s considered an act of violence against others. Drivers can go to jail for road rage.
Examples of road rage include:
- Using your car as a weapon.
- Nudging another driver’s bumper.
- Dueling another vehicle.
- Chasing another driver.
- Brandishing a gun or knife.
- Intending to hurt the other driver.
Road rage doesn’t happen because of a single episode. Life stressors, financial issues, personal conflict, and more can cause road rage. Road rage often starts as aggressive driving before escalating quickly.
You might do something that triggers another driver’s road rage without realizing it. Even if you did nothing wrong, the other driver might target you. If you were the victim of a road rage accident, talk to a lawyer immediately.
Road Rage Penalties
Like aggressive driving, road rage penalties vary by state. Road rage usually involves moving violation tickets. Depending on the severity, a road rage driver might be guilty of:
- Reckless driving.
- Assault and battery.
- Deadly misconduct.
- Vehicular manslaughter.
Road rage can lead to jail or prison time, especially if there are severe injuries or deaths.
If a police officer observes road rage behavior, they can pull the driver over. The officer might charge the driver with a moving violation or criminal offense.
Were you the victim of aggressive driving or road rage? Don’t wait to talk to a lawyer. Our car accident lawyers can help you seek compensation. Call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online to get started with a FREE consultation.
How to Avoid Becoming an Aggressive Driver
Life can be hard. If enough things pile up, you might become frustrated while driving. However, it’s essential to remain calm and always drive safely.
Here are some ways to avoid aggressive behavior or rage while driving:
- Plan so that you aren’t rushing to appointments.
- Take some deep breaths and remain calm.
- Develop healthy habits for dealing with frustrations.
- Focus on your actions instead of criticizing other drivers.
- If you start to feel too angry, move away from the other driver, pull over, and take a break.
Aggressive driving is never worth it. It might feel good to “get back at” other drivers at the moment. But the consequences are too risky. Avoid engaging. Instead, focus on getting to your destination safely.
Stay Safe Around Aggressive Drivers
If you come across an aggressive driver, be careful to avoid engaging. Stay in your lane, and remain a cautious driver.
- Only use your horn in emergencies.
- Don’t flash your lights at other drivers.
- Don’t tailgate other drivers.
- Allow other drivers to pass you.
- Move away from angry drivers.
Road rage situations can escalate quickly. Don’t encourage it in any way. If you feel unsafe, call the police.
What to Do After a Road Rage Accident
If an aggressive driver hits you, there are things you can do. The at-fault driver is responsible for accident damages like:
- Medical costs.
- Lost wages.
- Vehicle damage.
- Pain and suffering.
If the accident involved malice, you might be eligible for punitive damages. In Texas, these are exemplary damages (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41.003).
You can seek compensation by filing an injury claim with the driver’s insurer. Here are some ways you can help your case.
Call the Police
After the accident, immediately dial 911 to call the police. Tell the dispatcher that you’ve been in an accident. If the other driver is still acting aggressively, let officers know. They can come to the scene and help.
Aggressive or raging drivers might be dangerous. Stay in your vehicle if you feel unsafe. Do not engage with an aggressive driver. This can just escalate the situation and endanger you.
Document the Scene
If you can, take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and your vehicle damage. You might also take a video of the other driver’s behavior. Documenting the driver’s behavior can help your case.
Get Medical Attention
If you have severe injuries, don’t wait to get checked out. Call for an ambulance, or see a doctor as soon as possible. Your injuries might worsen quickly. Plus, seeing a doctor will back up your injury claim.
Save Evidence of Your Damages
Keep track of all costs you face from the crash. You will need to include these in your claim.
Talk to a Road Rage Accident Lawyer
Don’t wait to speak with a lawyer. Your lawyer can help you:
- Gather evidence from the scene.
- Calculate your damages.
- Deal with the insurance company.
- File a strong injury claim.
Insurance companies do not like to pay much on injury claims. The insurer might offer you a lowball settlement or try to intimidate you. Thankfully, your lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement and handle the insurer. They’ll work to seek the fullest compensation possible for you.
Talk to a Road Rage Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
If aggressive driving or road rage led to your accident, talk to a lawyer. We can get you a FREE consultation to go over your options. A lawyer can make all the difference in your case outcome.
To get your FREE consultation, call (214) 305-8277, or contact us online. We do not charge a fee unless we win you money. Reach out to get started for FREE today.