Over 30,000 people die on the roads every year. While the previous few years had fewer or equal numbers of fatalities, there was a rise in fatalities in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As more cars pile onto already congested roads, all during peak commuting hours, the chances of encountering a road rage incident rise. It may be over something minor such as one motorist driving slower than the other prefers, or an improper lane change at a slow speed. Even if the incident presented very little threat, even small slights can irritate another driver to the point of retaliation. Retaliation most often comes in the form of honking, hand gestures, and possibly purposefully doing something dangerous such as cutting the “offender” off. On-the-road retaliation and forms of aggression such as this are dangerous to all of the users on the road. Less frequently, the driver experiencing road rage may exit their own vehicle at a stoplight to personally confront the other, which can often lead to violence. Being able to deflate another’s aggression or ignore it by not taking further retaliation can save you and all of the other road users from injury or death.
Brush it Off, Do Not Retaliate
It is when we act on pure impulse that horrific mistakes are made. If another driver honked at you, cut you off, swerved towards you on purpose, or gave you the middle finger, it is best to back off instead of continuing to escalate the situation. Take a few deep breaths, think of the people close to you that would suffer from your injury or death, and try to remember how unimportant that one extra spot ahead in traffic really is and how unintelligent it would be to retaliate. Taking a moment to consider the situation at hand can save you and others from suffering undue harm on the road.
Are You the Road Rage Problem?
Often, drivers who experience frequent instances of others showing signs of road rage to them may be part of the problem. Do you often find yourself becoming angry behind the wheel? The following are signs that a driver who may be prone to road rage:
- Frequent use of the horn;
- Becoming angry at slow-moving vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists;
- Flashing headlights in anger;
- Constantly changing and swerving through lanes in an attempt to find the fastest route;
- Changing lanes at an unsafe speed and without using turn signals;
- Flipping off other drivers or using other hand signals to express anger; and
- Talking or texting on a cell phone.
If you or a loved one were injured in a car crash due to another person’s reckless or careless driving during road rage, it is important to contact a Kansas City car accident attorney of the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm experienced Kansas City car accident attorney today Krause & Kinsman Law Firm to discuss your legal options for compensation. You may be able to recover damages to help pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. However, to ensure the maximum amount for which you can be compensated, having an experienced attorney at your side is vital.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.