Road rage occurs when a driver uses their vehicle or a weapon to assault other motorists or passengers. It arises when the driver engages in dangerous or irrational behavior behind the wheel, such as by committing traffic offenses or displaying uncontrolled anger toward others on the road. Road rage accidents take place all too frequently on South Carolina’s highways and roadways.
Aggressive, reckless driving not only endangers people by causing serious injuries, but it can also be blamed for countless deaths each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that aggressive driving and road rage caused 1,350 collisions from 2009 to 2014. In 2011 alone, road rage directly resulted in 289 deaths nationwide. South Carolina residents are especially at risk of such accidents. South Carolina is ranked third on the NHTSA’s list of states with the worst drivers and seventh in terms of speeding and careless driving.
Road rage has its roots in aggressive driving. Many common driving habits observed on American roads are considered aggressive. However, people are often willing to overlook such behavior as being the norm, whether it is speeding or failure to observe stop signs. Road rage often begins as aggressive driving that includes one or more of the following:
While many drivers may experience moments of frustration feeling slightly annoyed is not the same as exhibiting road rage. One of the key differences between road rage and aggressive driving is that the latter is not done with the intent to harm. A driver exhibiting road rage engages in irresponsible, violent behavior to the point where they feel retaliating against another motorist is justified. Road rage is often exacerbated by drinking, drug use, mental instability or outside stressors related to one’s personal or professional life. Road rage is more than a driver simply losing their temper. It puts the lives of the driver and those around them in danger.
When road rage results in a car crash causing injury or death, the aggressive driver can be found liable for damages, depending on the type of accident. The most common examples of aggressive driving behavior that may qualify as road rage include:
According to preliminary data from NHTSA, more than 981 people died in motor vehicle accidents on South Carolina highways and roadways in 2016. The leading causes of the fatalities were speeding, failure to yield the right of way, following too closely, improper lane usage and driving under the influence. Such aggressive driving behaviors are commonly associated with road rage.
If you or a family member has been hurt in a road rage accident caused by the reckless actions of an aggressive driver, contact the lawyers at Steinberg Law Firm today by calling 843-720-2800 for a free review of your case. Our experienced car accident attorneys are dedicated to providing high-quality representation and legal support so that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We serve clients throughout Charleston, Goose Creek, Summerville and surrounding areas in South Carolina. Let us investigate the circumstances of your accident and deal with powerful insurance companies so you do not have to.