Some people tend to drive very aggressively, which can result in a serious accident. In fact, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving factors into 56 percent of all fatal car accidents. Unfortunately, aggressive driving can lead to an emotional response quite quickly when the driver is angered or stressed. These drivers often demonstrate what is known as “road rage.” With emotions taking the lead, road rage drivers often lose proper judgment and instead seek to intentionally scare or harm other drivers.
With a potential for so many serious consequences, it’s important to understand (a) how to avoid being an aggressive driver and (b) how to protect yourself from aggressive drivers.
What is road rage?
Road rage is angry and/or aggressive behavior exhibited by motorists. Road rage behaviors can include rude or offensive gestures, verbal insults or physical threats, or dangerous driving behaviors targeted at other drivers and non-drivers (i.e., pedestrians). Individuals with road rage often act on pure emotion.
Michigan currently has no “road rage” laws. However, drivers who partake in such behavior that risks others’ safety can be charged with serious penalties under existing law. This behavior may result in several different charges: reckless driving, assault with a dangerous weapon, and intentional discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, and reckless driving to name a few.
Specific examples of road rage include:
- Ramming your vehicle into another vehicle
- Sideswiping another vehicle
- Driving another driver off of the road
- Cursing/verbal insults
- Physical threats
- Flashing high beams
- Throwing objects
- Making obscene gestures
- Running a red light
- Cutting in front of another vehicle and slamming on the brakes
- Discharging a gun
- Getting out of your vehicle to confront another driver
- Intentionally changing lanes too close to another vehicle
- Blocking cars trying to pass you or change lanes
The penalties associated with road rage in Michigan include 5 to 15 years for reckless driving, up to 4 years to life in prison for assault with a dangerous weapon, and up to 10 years to life in prison for intentional discharge of a firearm. These ranges vary based upon the intent and the outcome of the driver’s actions (i.e., serious physical injuries versus death).
The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of someone else, you should not have bear the burden alone. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you need is to have to worry about tackling the legalities of your situation.
The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that can arise. We will gather the necessary evidence to build your case to obtain the most optimal outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!