Earlier this month, a driver was shocked to find her car resting on top of a highway concrete median following a truck accident. According to the police report, a 40-ton semi-truck was following the driver and struck the car from behind, pushing the car forward before striking the car again and pushing it up onto the concrete median.
The truck driver fled the scene. The car driver in this hit-and-run accident was very fortunate in that she only suffered minor injuries. The police are still investigating to determine if this was a road rage incident.
Aggressive Truck Drivers Pose a Risk to Drivers Around Them
Although semi-trucks are usually the largest vehicle on the roadways, that does not give these giant 18-wheelers the right to bully other drivers. While the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) advises drivers to share the road with truck drivers and employ defensive driving around 18-wheelers, truck drivers have a responsibility to refrain from aggressive driving and road rage.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says aggressive driving is “a combination of moving traffic violations that endanger another person” and can include:
- Following too closely to a vehicle
- Excessive lane changing
- Running stoplights or stop signs
- Weaving through traffic
- Angry gestures
What to Do If You Encounter an Aggressive Driver
What’s worse is that these road-rage incidents have led to physical assault and murder in extreme cases. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found aggressive driving makes up more than half of all fatal car crashes in the country. That said, if you find there is an aggressive driver sharing the road with you, there are steps you can take to prevent a possibly dangerous situation from escalating, such as:
- Avoid eye-contact with an aggressive driver
- Do not engage in gestures or reciprocate with anger
- If a driver is tailgating you, turn on your blinker to indicate you are going to change lanes as soon as it’s safe to do so
- Try to drive defensively and make predictable maneuvers
- Give the car in front of you a little more room, in case the worst happens and you’re rear-ended. This way, you won’t involve the car in front of you in any collisions that could occur
- If the driver persists in engaging in road rage behaviors, calmly pull your car over, stay in the car, lock your doors and call the police to request immediate assistance
When dealing with road-rage drivers, it is important to remain calm and not stoop to their level of anger. This is especially true with aggressive truck drivers, as the size and weight of the truck is likely to cause a catastrophic accident. Whether it is due to an unreasonable deadline or a lack of patience on the road, truck drivers have a responsibility to keep a cool head and keep other drivers safe.
Spevack Law Firm is a personal injury law firm that fights for victims who have been injured due to accidents caused by aggressive truck drivers in the Iselin, Teaneck and New Brunswick areas of New Jersey.