With the many highways in Texas, you have likely come across aggressive drivers. Road rage can come in many forms, such as an offensive gesture or a horn honking, but sometimes it can end in a physical altercation outside the vehicle. Dealing with an aggressive driver can be frustrating and challenging, especially for new drivers.
Driving Aggressively Behaviors can Include:
- Riding the tail of another vehicle
- Speeding while in congested traffic
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Not using signals when changing lanes
- Blocking vehicles trying to change lanes or pass
- Swerving in and out of traffic
- Punishing drivers by using brakes or headlights
Some of the more reckless and hazardous cases of aggressive driving tend to develop into road rage. The outcome of cases like this can end in violence and, ultimately, in a severe accident. However, aggressive driving behaviors can be similar to road rage. Road rage behaviors is a criminal offenses, excluding shouting or inappropriate gesturing. Some of these escalated behaviors include:
- Using physical force to assault another driver
- Sideswiping or ramming into other vehicles
- Harassing a driver off the road
- Throwing objects at another vehicle
If you encounter someone experiencing road rage, it is essential to remain calm and not escalate the situation. Here are three tips to keep in mind if you encounter an aggressive driver:
- ONLY USE YOUR HORN WHEN IT’S TRULY NEEDED – It’s tempting to honk at someone out of irritation if they cut you off or run a stop sign, but that can only worsen matters. Ensure you only use your horn when it’s truly needed, like alerting someone to a threat on the road.
- CONCENTRATE ON THE ROAD – An action or gesture from an angry driver can easily break your concentration and cause you to have an accident, especially during rush hour. The aggressor may even try to get close to your vehicle to get you to make eye contact with him and intimidate you. Keep your eyes on the road and focus on your task at hand, not on the other driver.
- DO NOT TAILGATE – It is essential to keep a safe distance between your car and the one in front of you, especially during road rage encounters. If you get cut off, do not tailgate the driver, as they will see this as a form of retaliation. This could anger them, and they may slam on their brakes, causing an accident.
- KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF – Even if you’re agitated, make sure you do not provoke other drivers. They may have cut you off, but you should still only use hand signals as needed: like when another driver allows you to merge into their lane. Flipping the bird is never necessary, on or off the road.
- LEAVE WITH ENOUGH TIME – One of the top reasons people get road rage is because they are running late and are upset when they get caught up in traffic. You can prevent this type of rushing road rage by leaving your house with plenty of time to get to your destination. You will speed less and have a calmer demeanor on the road.
- AVOID OTHER AGGRESSIVE DRIVERS – If you see someone else driving aggressively, taking risks, or speeding, you should avoid them. Their aggressive energy can be contagious and cause problems.
- IF YOU FEEL ROAD RAGE CREEPING IN, TAKE DEEP BREATHS – Sometimes, it’s unavoidable to feel a bit of road rage. However, you do not have to let it overcome you and cause problems for yourself and others. If you feel the negativity creeping in, make sure to take deep, meditative breaths to allow yourself to calm down.
Here is a copy of the 2017 Texas Driver Handbook that gives examples of everyday driving situations and provides general safety tips you should know.
STEPS TO TAKE AFTER AN AGGRESSIVE DRIVER ACCIDENT
Being in an accident can be confusing and traumatizing. Familiarizing yourself with what to do after sustaining an injury can put you on the right path. After a road rage accident, you should take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention –Seeking a medical evaluation after an accident can provide documentation of your injuries and how they occurred. Insurance companies will look for medical documentation when considering your injury claim.
- Gather medical documents – Keep a file containing your hospital bills, prescription labels, surgery invoices, physical therapy bills, and more.
- Don’t post on social media – Insurance companies and defense lawyers can use anything you post against you to undermine your claim. If you post photos of a recent outing or vacation, for example, the insurer may use your photos to contend your injuries are less severe than you claim. Refrain from posting anything on social media until the claim is resolved.
- Consult with an attorney – Working with an attorney is often your best shot at getting the fair compensation you need to recover financially after an accident.
INJURIES CAUSED BY ROAD RAGE ACCIDENTS
Aggressive driving has injured or killed over 1,500 people in the U.S. each year. As a result of that, one of the most common injuries is Whiplash. While it is the most common, it is not the only; other injuries include facial injuries and wrist or pelvic fractures. Passengers in the front seat are more likely to get knee and cervical injuries due to their knees being directly under the dashboards when struck. More common injuries include:
- Concussions and head injuries
- TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)
- Wrist fracture and limb injuries
- Cervical spine and back damage
- Knee bruising and injuries
TIPS FOR GETTING THE BEST SETTLEMENT AFTER A ROAD RAGE ACCIDENT
If you were injured due to someone else’s aggression or road-raging actions, you deserve compensation. Follow these tips for getting the best personal injury settlement possible:
- Gather evidence – Preserve valuable evidence of the accident, such as photos and videos of the accident scene, a copy of the police accident report, and medical records.
- Seek medical treatment – Get treated as soon as possible after the accident.
- Calculate damages –An attorney can gather your medical bills and accident-related losses and estimate the value of your case. It’s a good idea to know the full extent of your financial and non-financial losses.
- Don’t accept any initial offers – If the insurance company makes a quick settlement offer, it probably isn’t very generous, even if it may seem that way. Don’t sign anything presented by an insurance company without consulting a personal injury lawyer.
- Consult with an attorney – Navigating the claims process on your own while recovering from your injuries is never a good idea. An experienced personal injury attorney at Herrman & Herrman will have the time, knowledge, and resources to build a successful case and pursue the compensation you need.
CONTACT HERRMAN & HERRMAN P.L.L.C. AT 361.882.4357
Our firm has over 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases across Texas. Our outstanding record of favorable settlements and verdicts includes over 20,000 successfully resolved cases. Once we take on a case, we are relentless, and you can rely on us to pursue total compensation for you.
- You can trust our attorneys to be compassionate and professional.
- We will fight hard to obtain a fair settlement for you.
- Our firm represents the injured and families who have lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of others.
- We serve as counsel in various injury cases – including car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents, premises liability cases, product liability cases, and medical malpractice claims.
- We can dispatch the Herrman & Herrman Accident Investigative Team to the crash scene to start an investigation and preserve critical evidence.