You might not know that the term “road rage” was first coined by a Los Angeles TV station after several shootings on city freeways in the late 1980s. Just about everybody who’s been behind the wheel of a vehicle has become angry at one time or another. But when anger crosses the line to road rage, the consequences can be deadly – especially when the guilty party is the driver of an 80,000-pound commercial truck.
If you’ve been the victim of truck driver road rage, the attorneys with Penn Kestner & McEwen will be ready to help you take legal action in an effort to obtain the money you deserve for the injuries you’ve suffered. We’ll investigate to determine exactly who’s to blame and then work to make sure they’re held accountable.
Types of Road Rage
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), road rage is a combination of actions that put other drivers, as well as their property, at risk.
The results of road rage can be horrific, especially when they occur at high rates of speed. A motorist – or even worse, a truck driver – can follow another car too closely, cut them off by suddenly changing lanes, or perform some other incredibly dangerous maneuver. The results can be severe injuries or death.
These are just a few of the more common forms of road rage.
A driver can get into an argument with someone else in their car or while they’re talking on their phone. So, not only are they already posing a risk to others by driving while distracted, they could also get so angry they lose control of their vehicle – or even try to intentionally hit others.
Even a minor fender-bender can have tragic ramifications if one of the drivers experiences road rage. The cause could have been a truck that wasn’t properly maintained or one of many other reasons. Whatever that reason may be, the “road rager” could pull out a weapon or try to run the other vehicle off of the road.
Stress and Anxiety
Truck drivers are under an incredible amount of stress because they often have to try and meet ridiculous deadlines set by their employers. They can reach a breaking point and act out in an irrational manner. When you add the probability that they’re already incredibly tired, that can quickly lead to a combustible situation.
The stress and anxiety can cause so much frustration that a truck driver can no longer hold it inside. They can blow a seemingly minor mistake made by someone else on the road so far out of proportion that a devastating accident occurs.
How Does Road Rage Cause Truck Accidents?
So, how, exactly, does a truck driver manifest their road rage? What are some of the ways they act out? We already mentioned a couple, such as trying to hit other vehicles or perhaps even brandishing a weapon.
There are obviously many other ways they can act out. Truckers might try to intimidate the drivers of much smaller passenger cars by following far too closely. You can just imagine how scary that can be for the motorist – seeing this huge behemoth right on their tail.
The problem with that, of course, is if the motorist has to slow down, the truck will strike them from the rear. This could lead to a potentially fatal override accident, where the truck runs over the car and crushes it.
Truckers with road rage will often exhibit other dangerous kinds of behavior, such as driving far too fast or running red lights.
Road Rage Statistics
It’s incredible how avoidable acts, such as succumbing to road rage, can ruin – or end – lives. These are just a few of the terrible statistics.
- Road rage plays a role in an estimated 66% percent of all traffic deaths.
- Nearly 40% of all incidents involving road rage also involve some sort of firearm.
- The age and gender group most prone to road rages is males 19 and younger.
- About 50% of people who are the targets of road rage respond in an aggressive manner.
- Amazingly, 2% of drivers admitted that they were once so angry at another motorist that they tried to run them completely off of the road.
Tips for Reducing Road Rage
If you ever feel that you’re getting so angry that you might lash out at others on the road, it will be important that you pull over and take a break. If there’s a passenger riding with you, it might be a good idea to let them take the wheel. You could also consider playing music that calms you down or try to give someone who makes you mad the benefit of the doubt.
Learn Defensive Driving
Safety should always be the top priority of all drivers, whether they’re operating a truck or a passenger car. Drivers must always be aware of their surroundings. Not only will it keep them safer, but it could also help them avoid making a mistake that could trigger road rage in someone else.
How to Prove the Truck Driver that Hit You Was Driving Aggressively?
If you hire an attorney, they can investigate to find the evidence it takes to show that the truck driver who caused your accident was having a road rage episode. Your lawyer could, for example, obtain footage from nearby surveillance cameras that caught the trucker tailgating your car or trying to force you off the highway. They can also obtain “black box” data (this is a device all trucks are required to have) that shows the driver was going far too fast.
Contact Penn Kestner & McEwen to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Let a Penn Kestner & McEwen truck accident attorney do the work needed to prove your case and to help you obtain maximum compensation. Use our online form or call (800) 732-3070 for a free consultation to learn more about how we may be of assistance.