Not all motorists share the road with cyclists peacefully. Although there are many laws protecting cyclists rights on the road, when it comes to high emotions such as road rage, laws do little good in protecting a cyclist from an angry driver. Road rage can lead to intentional and aggressive acts against bicyclists by motorists that can cause serious and even fatal injuries (look here).
When it comes to Chicago bike accidents, a driver's aggressive behavior or road-rage may cause or contribute to a crash involving injuries. When it comes to prosecuting these cases, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers strongly believes in holding these people accountable for their acts. If you are a Chicago cyclist injured in a road-rage accident, complete this form for a free review of your case with an attorney who knows the law and can give you the answers you deserve.
Causes Of Road Rage Against Cyclists
Road rage is often labeled under the law as aggressive driving; however, it is often more personal than that. Most extreme cases of road rage are not just aggressive driving behavior; they are attacks on a specific target. Road rage can be defined as aggressive behavior toward another person on the road, usually triggered by some wrong that the raging driver perceives has been done to them. The driver may yell at the offending person, honk, cut them off, or in rare circumstances, try to physically harm the person.
When it comes to road rage against cyclists, there can be many causes or reasons that motorists feel rage toward the cyclists sharing the road with them. They may be annoyed that they needed to slow down for a cyclist. They may have encountered cyclists that were disrespectful and decided that all cyclists were the same caliber. It could be that they just don’t like sharing the road with bicycles. However, it most likely has little to do with the cyclist at all. Road rage, when it is acted upon, is a psychological problem that has more to do with the driver’s state of mind then anything a cyclist or anyone else has done to trigger these high emotions.
Illinois Bicycle Accidents Caused By Road Rage
Cyclists are at a distinct disadvantage on the road and can be especially in danger when they encounter a person that is susceptible to acting upon road rage. With little protection from injury, a motorist can easily seriously injure a cyclist. All it takes is a small side swipe, a tap from behind with their vehicle or even a quick stop in front of a bicycle, to send the cyclist flying off their bike.
Of course, these are not truly “accidents”. These are violent acts that are committed on another person. It can be difficult to prove road rage, though not impossible. In severe cases, offenders that have injured bicyclists due to road rage have been convicted of crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon. However, whether road rage is able to be proven or not, in most cases the driver that causes a bike accident is liable for injuries.
Bicycle Road Rage Injury Compensation
If a cyclist is injured by a driver due to road rage, they should be able, at minimum, to claim their medical bills, lost wages and other expenses through the driver’s insurance company. In extreme cases, the injured cyclist may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver for the personal assault. Unfortunately, another common issue with road rage bicycle accidents is that many of these are hit and run accidents (look here).
In a hit and run accident, law enforcement is responsible for tracking down the responsible driver. They can use witness reports, traffic cameras and other resources to help find the culprit. If the driver is not found, the injured bicyclist still may have options for compensation. Hit and run accidents, even those on a bicycle, may be covered under their own uninsured motorist auto policy.
Are you a bicyclist injured in a road-rage accident?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has experience representing bicyclists in all types of accident cases-- including those involving road rage. We invite you to speak to one of our Chicago bike injury attorneys for a free, confidential consultation about your situation. Put our experience representing injured cyclists to work for you.
Learn about incidents involving driver road rage causing injury to bicyclists: