Many drivers in California are no doubt familiar with road rage. They may feel it in themselves, or they may have had a close encounter with an enraged driver. Knowing the full extent of road rage, as well as how to respond to it, is a good idea for any driver. It can mean the difference between avoiding a collision or being in an accident.
What angry drivers do
Stress, impatience, a feeling of being above the law and the interfering actions of another driver can all contribute to road rage. At the lowest level, angry drivers may indulge in verbal abuse. Above that, they may make an obscene hand gesture or lash out by hitting their steering wheel.
Beyond that, drivers may honk the horn in an obnoxious way or flash their headlights. They may follow closely on the other driver’s bumper, which is a dangerous action called tailgating. Other times, angry drivers may speed up alongside the other car to keep it from changing lanes. Road rage is known to lead to incidents where drivers run another car off the road.
What you can do in response
Some road rage incidents occur because the offended party retaliates. The right thing to do is not engage the angry driver or act as a vigilante. Yield to the driver and find a safe place to pull over; then, if necessary, call the police.
A lawyer to help with a case
You suffered a personal injury at the hands of an angry driver even though you did nothing wrong. You may seek compensation for your losses by pursuing a claim against that driver’s auto insurance company. Moreover, you may be able to sue for punitive damages since the other driver was intentional in causing you harm. A lawyer may help analyze your case.