It happens to everyone. You are running late trying to get to your destination when a car pulls out in front of you and slows to a crawl. You can feel your blood pressure rising, and it takes all your self-control to keep from using your own vehicle to push the other one out of your way. Instead, you take a deep breath and try to keep calm. Eventually, the other driver turns off, and you go on your way.
You may have control of your emotions while driving, but not every driver is able to contain the rage that builds up when faced with these inconveniences. When a driver acts on those impulses, your life may be in danger.
Aggression or road rage?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about 66 percent of accidents that end in death begin with a driver's aggression behind the wheel. Aggressive driving includes any of the following:
- Flashing headlights in your eyes
- Honking the horn at you
- Shouting or making obscene gestures
You may be guilty of doing any of these things in a moment of frustration. However, when these lead to more violent actions, Texas law considers it road rage. If you encounter another driver who is committing any of these illegal acts, you have every right to be concerned for your safety and the safety of your passengers. You are involved in a road rage incident if another driver does any of these things to you:
- Running your car off the road
- Ramming your vehicle
- Getting out of the vehicle to confront you or to damage your vehicle
- Encouraging you to get out of your vehicle to fight
- Threatening you with a weapon
In many cases, a driver who engages in aggressive driving or road rage behaviors is under stress, and an incidental or minor action of yours, such as failing to signal before changing lanes, may cause the driver's temper to flare out of control. Stress, no matter how heavy, is no excuse for behavior behind the wheel that places the lives of others at risk.
If you have been injured in an accident resulting from another driver's aggressive driving or road rage, you have the right to seek legal assistance. An attorney can review the details of your case and guide you in the most appropriate legal steps for seeking compensation for your injuries.