Being tailgated, getting cut off, getting stuck in traffic and dealing with slow drivers obstructing traffic are enough to upset any driver. However, that feeling of anger and aggression could be dangerous if it is not controlled.
Road rage is a common problem among many motorists, and it is one that can cause serious injury or even death. If you or someone you love has been injured because of another’s road rage, contact our trusted Windsor car accident lawyers for a free, no obligation review of your claim. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
What is Road Rage?
Road rage is an escalated form of aggressive driving that can have criminal consequences. It is often defined as a moving traffic offense that is intended to endanger another person or their property. It can be considered a form of assault with a motor vehicle or may sometimes involve a dangerous weapon.
The kinds of actions that are most commonly associated with road range can include:
- Intentional tailgating
- Yelling at another driver
- Attempting to block another vehicle
- Honking angrily
- Gesturing inappropriately or angrily
- Intentionally cutting off another driver
- Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver
- Purposefully bumping another vehicle
Road rage can result in a charge of dangerous operation of a vehicle if the vehicle is being operated in a way that poses a danger to the public. This type of conviction could carry up to five years in jail.
If dangerous operation of a vehicle injures another person, the driver could be charged with up to 10 years in jail. If the action causes another’s death, prison time could be extended to 14 years.
Drivers could also be faced with criminal mischief or assault charges for some types of road rage.
The Prevalence of Road Rage
Unfortunately, despite the dangers of road rage and the potential consequences, studies indicate that this type of behaviour is common on Canada’s roads.
A 2015 State Farm Canada study about Canadian driving habits revealed that one-third of Canadians admit to engaging in road rage at least once a month.
Recent numbers from Ontario Provincial Police indicate that aggressive driving and speeding are among the leading causes of death in the province. As of June 2017, 30 people have been killed on OPP-patrolled roads, compared to 17 during the same time last year. That is a 76 per cent increase over last year.
Causes of Road Rage
There is typically no single trigger event that will cause road rage. Rather this behaviour is often a culmination of a variety of experiences and feelings a driver is facing.
It can be caused by a feeling of being disrespected on the road or could be related to a personal situation and have nothing to do with the road or the current circumstances.
Some of the most common causes of road rage include:
- Slow drivers
- Lack of politeness by other drivers
- Rushing to get to a destination
- Traffic congestion
- Irritable mood
- Failing to check blind spots or changing lanes without using a blinker
The key to preventing road rage is to understand your personal triggers. Once you recognize the signs that you are becoming irritated or angry, you should:
- Take a deep breath
- Pull over to take a break from driving
- Find another outlet for your anger, such as exercising
- Practice compassion and treat other drivers with respect
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination
- Do not try to teach another driver a lesson by engaging in aggressive actions
- Do not take other drivers’ actions personally
- Do not compete with another driver
Tips for Safely Dealing with Road Rage
If you find yourself engaged with a road rage situation, you should:
- Not react or retaliate
- Avoid making eye contact
- Never get out of your vehicle and keep the doors locked
- Allow an aggressive driver to pass and move out of their way
- Call the police if you are confronted
- Never drive home if you are being followed – instead drive to a police station or public place
It is generally best to keep your cool in this type of situation and not engage an aggressive driver.
Contact Our Windsor Auto Accident Lawyers
Road rage can have dangerous consequences that can result in serious injuries. If you have been injured because of another driver’s actions, Greg Monforton may be able to help. Our car accident lawyers are trusted personal injury lawyers in Windsor who have decades of experience holding responsible parties liable for the injuries they have caused.
For a free consultation and review of your claim, contact us today. We work on a contingency fee and do not get paid unless we obtain compensation on your behalf.