5 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Road Rage

Road rage is a dangerous driver behavior where a driver is overcome with aggressive or violent emotions, potentially resulting in collisions or physical altercations. Road rage contributes to many motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey and throughout the country each year. The more you know about road rage, the easier it becomes to detect and avoid.

Road Rage Car Accidents Happen More Often Than You Might Think

Road rage results in dangerous, anger-fueled actions behind the wheel that cause and contribute to many car accidents annually. A driver experiencing road rage is more likely to drive recklessly and aggressively, with dangerous driver actions such as speeding, racing, tailgating, running red lights, and weaving in and out of lanes.

While road rage incidents involved only 1 percent of vehicles in fatal crashes in 2021, the National Safety Council states that most of these incidents go unreported. Data gathered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2020 found that nearly 8 out of 10 drivers demonstrate aggressive driving behaviors behind the wheel.

Road Rage Is a Criminal Offense

Road rage goes beyond simple aggressive driving, which is generally not a crime in New Jersey but could be cited as a moving violation. Road rage is extreme, deliberate unsafe driving practices that pose a significant and immediate risk to others. Under state law, if road rage results in serious injuries to another person, the driver can face criminal charges.

If you are involved in a car accident with a road rage driver, report it to the police. The driver may be arrested for his or her actions. Road rage can result in a third-degree felony charge in New Jersey if the driver’s behaviors caused serious injuries. This can carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000.

A Weapon Is Often Involved in Road Rage Incidents

Recorded road rage incidents have oftentimes involved weapons (outside of using the motor vehicle as a weapon). Drivers who experience extremely violent road rage may chase down other drivers and initiate physical altercations that turn into assaults with dangerous instruments or deadly weapons. Examples include golf clubs, baseball bats, crowbars, knives and guns. It is important not to confront a road rage driver. If you are being followed by an angry driver, drive straight to the nearest police station.

Certain People Are More Prone to Road Rage Than Others

Road rage is more common in people with specific personality types. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, research suggests that young males are the most likely population to exhibit road rage behaviors. Psychological factors such as high life stress, a short fuse, displaced anger, a substance abuse disorder and impulsivity can all contribute to road rage. Environmental factors such as heavy traffic congestion can also increase the odds of road rage.

You Can Sue a Road Rage Driver for Harm Caused

If you suffered a physical injury or property damage from a car accident or confrontation with a road rage driver in New Jersey, you may be eligible for financial compensation. You have the right to sue or file a lawsuit with a New Jersey personal injury attorney against the road rage driver in pursuit of damages, or financial compensation, for your related losses. This may include necessary medical bills and property repairs.

Road rage is viewed as a tort or act of wrongdoing in personal injury law that can make an injured victim entitled to a financial recovery. To discuss a potential road rage accident claim with a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey, contact a New Jersey car accident attorney from the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C., for a free consultation.