What to Do if You Are a Victim of Road Rage
People often lump road rage and aggressive driving together. However, this is inaccurate. Aggressive driving may lead to road rage, but they are not the same thing.
An example of aggressive driving is tailgating or speeding despite heavy traffic. Drivers who engage in these behaviors are often angry and if their anger continues to escalate, they may start cursing at other drivers, throwing things or even intentionally ramming into other cars. Cursing, throwing things or ramming into other cars are all examples of road rage.
If you are involved in this type of accident, you need to be cautious when dealing with the other driver. You do not want to do anything that might make this person angrier and put you in danger. Below, our experienced auto accident attorneys in Phoenix discuss what to do after a road rage accident to help preserve your claim and stay safe.
How Common is Aggressive Driving?
The statistics below should come as no surprise to Arizona drivers, as studies have shown Arizona has some of the worst drivers in the nation. (A study by SmartAsset found Arizona was one of 10 states with the worst drivers.)
The AAA Foundation conducts an annual survey to determine the percentages of drivers who engage in aggressive behaviors. The 2019 survey revealed the following:
- 32 percent of drivers surveyed made rude gestures or honked at other drivers in the past 30 days
- 75 million drivers tailgated to prevent another car from merging
- 25 percent of drivers surveyed sped up when another driver tried to overtake them
- 48 percent of those surveyed drive 15 miles per hour over the speed limit
Drivers who engage in these behaviors could become increasingly angry and resort to road rage.
How Victims of Road Rage Crashes Can Stay Safe
It is often a good idea to stay in your car after an accident occurs, particularly if there is a lot of traffic. If you get out, you could be putting yourself in harm’s way. This is particularly true if the other driver is angry and having a fit of road rage.
If you see the other driver yelling at you, or if he or she gets out of his or her car, lock your doors. Drivers who are experiencing road rage may seek out a confrontation and potentially try to open your door.
Your goal when dealing with a driver who is in a fit of road rage is to try to deescalate. Here are some more tips for staying safe:
- Avoid eye contact: This could cause the other driver to get angrier. Look straight ahead and ignore them.
- Do not engage the other driver: You do not need to answer this person’s questions or try to obtain insurance information just yet. It is only natural to feel the need to defend yourself, particularly if the other driver is claiming the crash is your fault. However, engaging can only escalate the situation.
- Call the police: If you feel you are in danger, call 9-1-1 and wait for the police. If your car is still safe to drive, you may even want to drive to a police station instead of just waiting on the roadside.
- Stop in a public, populated area: If there is a populated place nearby, such as a parking lot or shopping center, it may be best to pull in there. People engaging in road rage may be less likely to get violent if a lot of people are around.
Preserving Your Claim
There are steps you can take to help preserve your claim for compensation after a road rage accident:
- Write down what happened before you forget: When you have a few minutes, write down what happened. It is easy to forget important details a short time after the crash occurs. What did the other driver do? How did the crash occur? How did your injuries occur?
- Be very careful about what you say to the insurance company: The insurance company is looking for any reason to assign you full or partial fault for the accident. Be very careful how much you tell them about the crash. You do not need to go into a lot of detail. You can simply say you were in a crash and suffered injuries for which you are seeking treatment. If you say the other driver was angry, the insurance company may try to say you did something to cause the other driver to get angry, such as breaking traffic laws.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today for Legal Help
At Phillips Law Group, we know car crash victims often have many questions about what to do next. We are here to help ”“ over more than 28 years serving Arizona injury victims, we have recovered hundreds of millions in compensation.
There is no risk because there are no upfront fees for our services. We do not get paid for helping crash victims unless we recover compensation on their behalf.
Need assistance? Give us a call today to learn more. Call 1-800-706-3000 .
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