Congested Chicago roadways and busy schedules can lead to drivers acting erratically while behind the wheel.
Aggressive driving and road rage are rampant on our Chicago streets, often with grave consequences. If you have been victimized by an overly aggressive driver, or even assaulted by one, you have the right to seek compensation for your injury and any damages. Our Chicago car accident attorneys would be happy to discuss your injury claim with you, free of charge.
The Difference Between Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
Although often used interchangeably, there is a legal distinction between aggressive driving and road rage:
- Aggressive driving – An aggressive driver is one who is committing various traffic offenses as they fight to make it to the front of the driving lane. They will follow too closely behind you, speed, cut you off, and make unsafe and sudden lane changes. This type of driving puts everyone around them at risk for getting into a serious car accident.
- Road rage – This may be considered a criminal offense, often coupled with traffic offenses. Road rage may begin when screaming and shouting, but can and has resulted in physical assault and even murder. Either way, the result is often bodily harm to one or both of the drivers.
Protecting Yourself from Aggressive Drivers and Road Rage
While there is not much you can do to stop the actions of other drivers, you can take steps to avoid being injured by them. Do not engage with an obviously aggressive driver, but rather drive defensively and move out of their way. Tactics meant to annoy, such as deliberately slowing down or stopping, will only infuriate the driver more and possibly lead to road rage.
Incidents of road rage have been steadily on the rise since the 1990’s. At times, weapons are even involved, including:
- Hand guns and assault rifles
- Baseball bats and golf clubs
- Taser guns
- Pepper spay
- Tire irons
If you note that an aggressive driver has stopped and is exiting their vehicle, (if possible) drive away while using your cell phone to call 911. Never engage with a driver in this state, and don’t exit your vehicle. If you are stopped in stalled traffic and unable to move your car, roll up the windows, lock the doors, and call for police help.
If an aggressive driver causes you to crash with them or another vehicle, they should be held responsible for paying for your damages. Make sure that a police report is filed, with as many witness statements to the driver’s erratic handling of their vehicle as possible. Then contact a Chicago car accident lawyer to help you take the next steps towards compensation.
Chicago Road Rage Car Accident Lawyer
Even though road rage is a criminal offense, if you are physically attacked, you have the right to file a civil suit against the driver. Follow the same procedure as for an aggressive driving car accident, making sure that a trusted Chicago car accident attorney from Willens Law Offices is by your side.