Chicago Road Rage Car Accident Lawyer
Aggressive driving continues to be a significant problem on Illinois roadways, especially in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Driving aggressively is often referred to as 'road rage,' where vented anger on the roadway continues to be a pivotal contributor to auto accidents involving serious injuries or fatalities.
Road rage car accident can be a tangible threat to other motorists and passenger safety.
An Illinois Road Rage Vehicle Crash Attorney Can Help You Recover Compensation for Your Injuries
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC knows the dangers that overly aggressive driving poses to all motorists on Illinois roads and highways. Our Chicago car accident lawyers have prosecuted cases on behalf of people injured (car drivers, passengers, and bicyclists) in road rage accidents across Illinois.
Contact our law offices to arrange for a free case evaluation of your personal injury case today. Our Chicago car accident attorneys currently represent clients throughout the United States and Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Elgin, Naperville, and Schaumburg.
Defining Aggressive Driving Behavior
In recent years, a movement in Illinois has led legislators to develop stricter laws concerning road rage incidences on many highways and city streets throughout the state.
Spearheaded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement agencies, more robust laws hold aggressive drivers responsible for their actions both criminally and civilly.
While no national definition of aggressive driving behavior exists, under Illinois law, road rage is commonly referred to as a societal condition where drivers lose their temper or display anger as a reaction to some disturbance in traffic.
In most road rage motor vehicle accident claims, an angry driver chose to cause intentional injury or death to another motorist because of some traffic dispute type.
Usually, aggressive motorists react negatively by using their car or truck as a retaliatory weapon.
The driver does this by making threatening or sudden maneuvers that cause unsafe road conditions for the intended victim and other nearby motorists. Experts have concluded that numerous stimuli trigger many aggressive driving behaviors.
Some road raged aggressive drivers are provoked by roadway congestion or another driver's actions. Commonly, erratic driving behavior results from the driver's reaction and mood when behind the wheel of their vehicle.
Recovering Compensation for Injuries Sustained in Chicago Reckless Driving Accidents
The insurance company pays damages for personal injuries in most auto accident cases for the negligent driver.
Because reckless or road-rage accidents might be categorized as 'intentional acts,' it is crucial to have an experienced legal team working on your behalf to recover economic and non-economic damages available under Illinois law. In some situations, a court might grant punitive damages where the driver's behavior is too reckless.
Generally, economic damages encompass substantial losses for past or future medical treatment for injuries. Damages could include medical bills for ambulance transport, hospitalization, and physical therapy.
Economic damages would also include wage loss during the time you are unable to work. Non-economic damages would entail pain and suffering related to your injuries.
Road Rage Behaviors That Might Escalate Into Serious Accidents
There are specific common irritant behaviors that aggressive motorists display when driving erratically on highways, roadways, and metropolitan Chicago city streets. These signs of road rage include:
- Tailgating as a way to pressure another driver to move faster or get their vehicle out of the way
- Displaying an obscene gesture
- Flashing headlights to force other motorists to move aside in a passing lane
- Changing their lane without using signals
- Blasting the vehicle horn
- Distracted driving by talking on a cell phone or texting
- Driving in the left or passing lane at speed too slow for others to pass
- Racing toward a yellow light about to turn red at traffic signals
- Slowing the vehicle down once passing another car
- Cutting other motorists off
- Driving the car with high beam lights on, toward oncoming traffic or behind other cars
- Driving straight through the intersection when clearly in a right-hand turn lane
Minimizing the Risk of Becoming Road Rage Accident Victim
There are specific actions that any motorist can take to minimize the potential of having a collision caused by an aggressive driver. These actions can minimize the potential of injury and property damage and help motorists and passengers live to enjoy another day. Actions to avoid dealing with road raged aggressive drivers include:
- Remain courteous and polite
- Follow Illinois state laws about rules of the road
- Use directional lights in time-shifting lanes
- Maintain speed limits
- Follow all vehicles at a safe distance
- Attempt to stay mainly in one lane
- Put physical distance between the aggressive driver and your vehicle
- Avoid distraction, including reading the paper, using the phone, or texting anytime the car is in motion
- Never irritate or antagonize other motorists
- Never show a reaction to an aggressive driver
- Use the car horn sparingly
- Avoid eye contact with aggressive drivers
- Maintain music playing levels in the vehicle low enough not to annoy others
- If frustrated, find a distraction that could include listening to the radio, conversing with a passenger, or talking to yourself as a way to calm down
- Remain tolerant of any other motorist exhibiting unacceptable traffic behaviors
Road Rage Car Accident FAQs
What is Considered Road Rage?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines road rage as anger brought on by frustration and stress when the motorist is operating a vehicle. Road rage is not always a criminal act, but its unsafe driving practices could lead to severe car accident injuries and wrongful death.
Road rage is often a focused or deliberate act triggered by multiple events and stressors not involved with driving. The aggravated driver might be dealing with relationship, financial, or occupational problems where the stress results in aggressive behavior taken out on others.
What are Examples of Road Rage?
Common examples of a road rage incident often involve using aggressive behavior as retaliation or a weapon against others on the road. These examples include:
- Tailgating or nudging the car in front to move quicker
- Forcing other motorists into another lane or to the side of the road
- Failing to honor another driver's right-of-way
- Brake checking for the aggressive driver suddenly breaks in front of other vehicles
- Excessive horn honking to harass other motorists
- Getting out of the car with intentions to harm others
What are the Three Types of Road Rage?
Road rage is often expressed violently and vocally on highways, city streets, and side roads. The three types of road rage include:
- Passive-aggressive behavior where motorists covertly attempt to control the road shared with others
- Competitive behavior or one motorist becomes enraged when moving through traffic
- Inpatient behavior where the aggravated driver is frustrated with the pace of traffic or others apparently in their way
Why is Road Rage a Problem?
One out of every fifty drivers has admitted that they attempted to run an aggressive motorist off the highway or road at least once in their life. Many of these aggressive drivers use quiet tactics to express the road rage that might include resisting, competing, rushing, or complaining.
Some aggressive road rage behaviors include insulting, honking the horn, staring, cussing, and yelling at others while driving.
What is the Scariest Road Rage Statistic?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about two-thirds of all traffic fatalities result from an aggressive driver expressing road rage anger. About one-third of all traffic fatalities were caused by an aggressive driver using a firearm.
Statistics show that men eighteen years old and younger are most likely to use road rage tactics while driving. The federal agency states that more than 12,000 people were injured by road rage over the last seven years, and nearly 220 were killed.
What is the Main Difference between Aggressive Driving in Road Rage?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as an endangerment to others and property. The federal agency defines road rage as an extreme form of aggressive behavior when operating a vehicle turns to violence and anger.
Legal Options After a Chicago Road Rage Car Accident Results in Injury to You
Road rage is a serious issue in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois. If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a car accident caused by road rage or an aggressive driver, legal representation is crucial to your injury claim.
The auto accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC specialize in Illinois car crashes with injuries, including those caused by road rage. The attorneys investigate all evidence concerning the claim, talk with witnesses, and gather essential documents, including medical reports and accident information.
Our skilled attorneys can help you obtain financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages from missed work, future earnings, disability, damages, pain, and suffering. Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights.