In 2012, two SUVs were driving erratically on Garden State Parkway, near Route 17. The Honda SUV was tailgating a Chevy SUV when the driver tried to pass in the exit lane. According to a police report, witnesses claimed both of the vehicles were speeding, making frequent lane changes and tailgating each other. The Honda driver lost control and swerved off the road, struck a metal guard rail and rolled over into oncoming traffic. The Honda struck the Chevy while it was rolling over and both of the cars struck another guard rail. Upon impact, a passenger was ejected from the Honda and later died from her injuries.
One of the drivers was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison, while the other is awaiting sentencing.
Why is Road Rage Dangerous?
It can be particularly annoying when another driver cuts you off, is driving below the speed limit, or tailgates you. We’re all guilty of getting a little heated behind the wheel. However, a road rage incident can turn deadly. Road rage happens when the stress and frustration from driving turns into violent anger. Typically, road rage includes the following:
- Verbally condemning other drivers
- Changing lanes frequently, quickly and without signaling
- Hand gestures
- Cutting off another driver
- Flashing headlights
- Honking the horn
- Disobeying traffic laws
It may feel good to let off a little steam when another driver annoys us. However, in the heat of the moment, it is easy to forget we are driving two-ton vehicles that can seriously harm others. If you become irritated with another driver, take a breath and do not engage in aggressive driving. It’s simply not worth seriously harming another person.
How Should I React When Dealing With an Aggressive Driver?
Drivers with road rage can be unpredictable and can put you in dangerous situations. If you are driving alongside a driver with road rage, the following are steps you can take in order to prepare for unexpected scenarios:
- Avoid eye contact and stay calm
- Don’t engage with the driver by yelling back or making gestures
- Use your signal and change lanes and let the driver pass, if possible
- Use your car horn sparingly
- Don’t drive closely to the road rage driver or other drivers
- Resist the urge to brake-check the person if they are following closely behind you
- If the road rage driver is following you to confront you, drive to the nearest police station
Due to the high speeds aggressive drivers use, road rage accidents can result in serious injuries and can often harm other drivers who are otherwise not involved in the conflict. Choose to act sensibly and safely when confronted with an aggressive driver. Use mature and sound judgment to remove yourself from the unsafe situation. If you are injured in a road rage accident, immediately consult with an attorney to pursue damages for your injury.