Watch Out for Road Rage on California Roadways

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

How can I protect myself against drivers with road rage?

A shocking road rage incident caught on video highlights the immense dangers of enraged drivers on California highways nationwide.  Recently, motorists driving to work along the 14 Freeway in Santa Clarita spotted a motorcyclist and a silver sedan driving erratically.  A video reveals the motorcyclist and the sedan veering into the same lane.  The motorcyclist attempts to kick the sedan and the sedan swerves, sideswiping the motorcyclist.  The sedan continues to swerve and switch lanes, smashing into the center divider. Eventually, the sedan slams into a pickup truck, causing it to flip.  Fortunately, all survived this stunning instance of road rage.  

What is Road Rage?

Road rage and aggressive driving are often thought of us one and the same, but they are in fact two distinct behaviors.  Road rage is defined as a civil or criminal offense that happens when the driver of a motor vehicle assaults another road user.  Road rage can encompass intentionally slamming into another driver or unintentionally hitting another vehicle while in a rage.  Road rage accidents can lead to severe injuries due to the often high speeds involved.  Road rage can also spread outside of the vehicle, where angry drivers physically assault or threaten other drivers involved in the crash.

Protecting Yourself Against Road Rage

If you are driving and spot another driver behaving in an aggressive manner, observe the following:

  • Steer clear:  If the aggressive driver is near you, get as far away from the situation as safely possible.  Switch lanes, slow down, or exit the roadways, if it is safe to do so.  If you are far from the enraged driver, you will be less likely to face dangers.
  • Call 911:  If you believe the aggressive driver is threatening your safety or the safety of those around you, call 911 to get help.  An officer will be dispatched immediately to investigate the situation and potentially pull over the aggressive driver.
  • Do not confront the aggressive driver:  While it can be challenging to refrain from making angry gestures or acting aggressively back at the enraged driver, it is imperative that you keep your cool.  Do not retaliate in any way.  Do not make eye contact and get away from the aggressive driver as soon as possible.

If you have been injured in a road rage related crash, contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.  The aggressive driver that injured you may be liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.