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Auto Accident 12.31.1969

Road Rage Causes Dangerous Situations that Can Lead to Serious Injuries

Road rage has happened to most drivers. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, reported road rage is commonly characterized as uncontrolled aggressive driving, which plays a role in approximately 54% of all car crashes that end in fatality. In fact, some studies have shown that road rage episodes resulted in about 30 deaths and 1,800 injuries per year. Inappropriate rage or aggressive driving behavior on Michigan’s roadways causes accidents that are often catastrophic to drivers and passengers alike, usually because these accidents tend to occur at high speeds, tailgating, erratic lane changing, or illegal passing. To prevent and punish drivers for this dangerous and careless behavior, Michigan does not have road rage statute. However, Michigan does punish reckless or careless driving. Reckless driving is defined by statute as:

“a person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public, including, but not limited to, an area designated for the parking of motor vehicles, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500 or both.” See MCLA 257.627.

If you or your family member have been injured by someone driving recklessly and carelessly, seek the help of an experienced car accident lawyer in Detroit Michigan to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for the damages and injuries that the reckless, careless, and negligent driving caused.

What is the definition of road rage?

Road rage is aggressive careless driving behavior that endangers the safety and lives of the public and can include committing two or more of offenses:

  • Speeding.
  • Weaving in and out of traffic.
  • Improperly passing another vehicle.
  • Improperly changing lanes.
  • Tailgating.
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way.
  • Disobeying traffic control devices.

Drivers who drive with road rage can be found to be driving recklessly or carelessly and face penalties including: $500 fines, up to 93 days jail time, suspension of driver’s license, and having points on their licenses, among other potential penalties.

Road rage drivers can also be found to have civil liability for damages to anyone their behavior injures. Most likely, this occurs when an angered driver is driving aggressively, causing a car accident, and injuring the driver or passengers of the other vehicle.

What Causes Road Rage?

It’s easy to get angry behind the wheel because vehicles are not seen as people. This behavior can be exemplified by verbal insults, physical threats, or dangerous driving.

There is no single factor that causes a person to lose control of their emotions and become angry behind the wheel, but some driving conditions make road rage incidents more likely.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the following conditions can contribute to road rage:

  • traffic backups
  • Feeling late to an important meeting or appointment
  • Other driver’s actions, intentional or accidental hazardous road conditions, like cutting off other drivers
  • Tailgating
  • Weaving in traffic

Driver’s reacting to these driving conditions through an emotionally charged can trigger road rage. They interpret other motorists’ ordinary driving decisions or carelessness as actions requiring a violent or aggressive response.

Driver’s prone to anger management issues to bring emotions on the roads

Drivers who have difficulty controlling their anger or emotions in their lives may be vulnerable to episodic road rage. Road rage can be seen in all genders and age groups.

Finally, road rage can be set off by witnessing another driver’s dangerous behavior. However, dangerous behavior in response to other dangerous behavior will only compound the danger.  

What To Do If You Encounter A Road Rage Driver?

If you encounter a road rage driver on the road, take these steps to avoid an accident or violent encounter.

Adjust your own attitude

Don’t return gestures, offend, or enrage other drivers

Get away from the road rage driver. You may have to slow down to let him or her get farther in front of you or let the driver pass you.

Avoid eye contact with enraged driver

Forget about winning, don’t make it a driving contest

Do not engage with the driver. If the driver makes an obscene gesture or is otherwise rude, ignore it. Reacting to the aggressive driver could dangerously escalate the situation. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and ignore the rager.

If an aggressive driver tailgates you, change lanes, and either drive to the nearest police or fire station or call 911. Do not stop to confront the driver.

Try to get behind the raging driver and stay away

If possible, get a description of the vehicle and the license plate number so you can accurately report the driver to the police.

What To Do After The Road Rage Accident? 

As in any type of car accident, you should first attend to your own health and safety. Immediately after a car accident, report the accident to the local police by calling 911.If the road rage driver is still showing signs of violent behavior, stay in your vehicle with the windows up and doors locked. If the road rage driver has calmed down, try to take down as much information as possible including witnesses and taking pictures of the accident scene. Do argue with the road rage driver about fault to further escalate the situation. If the road rage driver will cooperate with you, try to get contact and insurance information. If you feel it’s too dangerous, then write down his license plate or take a picture of it. If the road rage driver leaves the scene of the accident, the local police will be able to find him or her through the license plate. Sometimes it’s a good idea to write down what you observed so you don’t forget. Here is what you should do when you encounter a road rage driver:

  • Stay away from the enraged driver. Slow down, change lanes, or let the enraged driver pass you and drive away.
  • Note a description of the vehicle’s license plate number. Give a good description to the police.
  • Do not intimidate, encourage, or challenge the enraged driver in any way. Ignore the driver's rudeness and don't give into the temptation to react in kind or you might escalate the risky behavior.
  • Put your safety first. If an aggressive driver starts to follow you, keep your doors locked, and head to the nearest police station. Never stop and confront an aggressive driver.

If you were able to take pictures, keep them. The sooner you write down the events that led up to the accident, the more you will probably remember. Additionally, keep written daily journal about your injuries, detailing your daily pain and healing progress. If you should need any medical treatment for your injuries, the journal will help your road rage attorney prove your case.

Types of Injuries Caused by Road Rage Accidents

Road rage accidents often occur at high speed, resulting in many different typed of severe and permanent injuries. Injuries suffered in a road rage accident may include:

  • Bumps, bruises, scrapes, cuts, and abrasions: Your minor injuries may heal quickly unless you have pre-existing medical conditions prolong your healing, such as diabetes or a compromised immune system.
  • Sprains, strains, and pulled or torn muscles: These types of injuries could take a few weeks , few months, or longer to heal. If you need surgery to repair a torn muscle, ligament, or other soft-tissue injuries, the rehabilitation treatment might last months or years.
  • Simple Fractures: Broken bones can be internal without ever break through the skin. Displaced fractures may need surgery.  Nondisplaced bone fractures may be casted do or splinted. If surgical sites get infected, this may slow the healing process.
  • Compound fractures: A compound fracture is when the bone breaks the skin. A compound fracture can take longer to heal and could get infected.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: Injuries to the brain can be mild to severe. Brian injuries can be minor but serious, or catastrophic to where it lasts forever. Even a concussion can be serious because chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) may appear many years after you recover from the concussion.
  • Back, neck, arm, legs, and shoulder injuries: These types of injuries can have damage to the bone, muscle, ligament, skin, discs, or joints, which could be minor to disabling.
  • Secondary injuries: You may also suffer secondary injuries such as swelling of the  brain, amputation, or paralysis as an indirect result of injuries sustained in a road rage accident.

Damages you may be entitled to after a Michigan Road Rage Accident

If you are injured in a road rage accident or you lost a family member because of a road rage accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages and losses.

What Are Special Damages?

Economic damages compensate you for the out-of-pocket costs of an accident. These are damages that have a fixed price assigned to them. The economic damages may include:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Lost wages. 
  • Property Damage.
  • Future medical expenses; and
  • Future lost wages.

What are General Damages?

In Michigan, non-economic damages are compensation for injury you suffered that does not have a fixed price. Your noneconomic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of companionship.
  • Loss of consortium (unable to have a physical relationship with your spouse).
  • Loss of use of a limb.
  • Compensation for being paralyzed; and
  • Inconvenience, if you are not able to take care of your home and must pay someone to do things you normally would do yourself, such as cleaning, cooking, mowing, and home maintenance.

General damages are usually awarded if your injuries are expected to be long-term or permanent.

Were you involved in a Michigan road rage accident?

If you were injured in an accident caused by road rage or an aggressive driver, call an experienced car accident lawyer who offers a free consultation. We are happy to help you understand your rights and options and get you on your way back to living a whole and complete life again.



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The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C represents Michigan clients in a full range of personal injury matters. If you have been injured, contact us for a free consultation.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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