Have you ever been driving along a Pennsylvania highway when a speeding vehicle cuts into your lane or starts riding your bumper? Maybe you have experienced a stressful situation where another driver has started screaming at you or using profane gestures toward you at a traffic light. Such behaviors are examples of road rage and driving aggression that often occur moments before a motor vehicle collision.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines road rage as traffic offenses that endanger another person or property. In addition to tailgating, such behavior includes failing to obey stop signs or traffic signals, racing, erratic and unsafe lane changes, and more. What makes matters worse is that data shows the most common reaction to road rage is more road rage.
Horn honking and flashing lights show road rage and aggression
If someone starts laying on a horn and flashing lights at you on a highway, you may be a target in a road rage incident. You may have flashed your headlights in the past, perhaps to alert oncoming traffic about an obstacle in the road or to warn them of an accident up ahead. However, if someone starts yelling at you, flashing lights or leaning on their horn, it is best to try to create distance between your vehicle and the other driver.
When road rage and aggressive driving occur, it is easy to become distracted or frightened, which, in turn, may cause you to make errors, such as not noticing a light that has turned red. You cannot control another driver’s behavior, but you have total control whether you respond with additional rage. Even if you try to remain calm, you may not be able to react swiftly or safely enough to avoid a collision.
Navigating the aftermath of a road rage collision
If another vehicle hits you on a Pennsylvania roadway, and you have evidence to prove that road rage and aggressive driving was the cause, you can seek financial recovery for your losses. Damages in such cases often include physical injuries, emotional trauma, lost income, medical expenses and more. If you have lost a loved one in a road rage collision, you may be eligible to seek restitution in place of your family member, who would have been able to file a claim if he or she had survived the collision.
This is known as a wrongful death claim. If you are an immediate family member, such as a spouse, adult child or parent of the decedent, you have the right to seek justice against the person whose negligence or recklessness caused a fatal collision.