At some point or another, you have probably been the victim of another driver’s wrath. Slamming down on the horn, tailgating, the screaming of obscenities – these are not the actions of a rational driver, and if you have ever been stuck on the Beltway during rush hour, you may have experienced this.
An especially angry or aggressive driver may be exhibiting a phenomenon commonly known as “road rage.” These drivers are not using their best judgment, and are much more likely to be in or cause a car accident. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) reports an average of more than 55,000 injuries in Maryland, and 635 car accident fatalities per year. Road rage is a risky proposition, and everyone on the road should be aware of their own temper while driving, as well as of drivers that may exhibit this dangerous behavior. Injuries can easily occur if you are in an accident involving road rage.
What is road rage?
Road rage is excessive anger or frustration, usually violent, directed at other drivers. Some of the common signs of road rage include:
- Following other cars too closely
- Yelling at other motorists, or using foul hand gestures
- Sudden braking or acceleration
- Sudden lane changes that are often unsafe
- “Cutting off” another vehicle
- Retaliatory actions on roadways
In Maryland traffic especially, congestion during rush hour can cause aggressiveness in drivers, resulting in road rage accidents. Inexperienced drivers with road rage can be doubly dangerous. If you are in a car accident caused by a motorist with road rage, you should make every effort to de-escalate the situation and wait until authorities are present to engage with the other driver. Call a trusted Maryland car accident attorney after tending to your health care if you are injured in a road rage accident and are seeking justice.
What is aggressive driving?
Aggressive driving is unsafe, but it is not driven by the same violent anger that causes road rage. During the summer, aggressive driving incidents are even more prevalent, especially during congestion and peak traffic times. Drivers who flash their high beams, or drive in the right shoulder to avoid long lines of traffic, are driving aggressively. Maryland’s description states:
“Aggressive driving occurs when an individual commits a traffic offense that endangers other people or property. Behaviors include a variety of dangerous driving maneuvers:
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Improper passing
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Driving on a roadway emergency lane”
If you have been the victim of a car accident involving road rage, aggressive driving, or simple negligence, consult a noted and reputable Maryland car accident attorney as soon as possible to understand your rights. Plaxen & Adler, P.A. is a premier personal injury law firm serving clients throughout Maryland. For more than 30 years, the firm has fought for justice for injury victims and their families. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with an experienced Maryland injury attorney, please call 410.988.4449, or fill out a contact form.