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What Is Road Rage?

Road rage is an extreme form of aggressive driving that occurs when unsafe driving behavior escalates to criminal activity. To better understand the difference, we’ll go ahead and define both terms.

What Is Aggressive Driving?

According to AAA, aggressive driving is:

Any unsafe driving behavior, performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety.”

Examples of aggressive driving include:

  • Speeding
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Tailgating
  • Cutting in front of other drivers
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Running red lights
  • Blocking other drivers from passing or changing lanes
  • Flashing your high beams to “punish” other drivers
  • Brake testing or brake checking other drivers
  • Yelling
  • Honking in anger
  • Making angry gestures

Although aggressive driving can cause accidents, most drivers who exhibit this kind of behavior don’t want to cause a car crash. When aggressive drivers intentionally put other drivers in danger or act violently towards other drivers on or off the road, aggressive driving escalates to road rage.

Road Rage Defined

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines road rage as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle or precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”

The term, “road rage” was coined by the news station KTLA in Los Angeles after a string of shootings occurred on several freeways throughout the city. Sometimes, people who commit road rage even follow drivers to their homes or destination before confronting them with weapons and violence.

Examples of road rage also include:

  • Throwing objects
  • Forcing a driver off the road
  • Ramming another driver with a motor vehicle
  • Sideswiping another driver on purpose

While aggressive driving is a civil infraction and can impact the results of a personal injury case, road rage is a form of assault.

Always keep your cool while driving and do not engage with angry or aggressive drivers on the roadway. If you feel unsafe while driving or notice an aggressive driver is following you, drive to a public place like a police station, hospital, or fire station. Park so you can pull out safely if someone approaches you and remain inside your locked vehicle at all times. You can use your horn to attract help and call 911 if you feel threatened.

Recovering From a Road Rage Incident

Whether you sustain an injury in an accident caused by aggressive driving or become a victim of road rage, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.

When you contact May, Rammell & Wells, our team will walk you through your rights and legal options during a free consultation.

Call us at (208) 623-8021 or contact us online to schedule yours today.


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