Our Chicago car accident attorneys sometimes just wonder how some people got their driver’s licenses. This is especially true when you an encounter a driver who allows their emotions get the best of them behind the wheel. We’re talking about road rage. It’s a factor in many car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere.
Take the case of the recent accident in Madison County. Six people were injured — all because of road rage. According to the Illinois State Police, two people in an SUV were arguing with one another at approximately 3 a.m. As they were heading down Interstate 55/70 by Illinois 111, one of the passengers decided that she wanted to fight the driver on the side of the road. The passenger jerked her wheel to the right. When her vehicle left the roadway the driver over-corrected. That’s when the SUV slammed into a passenger vehicle and another SUV. It started a chain reaction. A pickup truck then slammed into the passenger car, according to BND.
Two of the passengers in the first SUV were transported to St. Louis University Hospital. That initial aggression resulted in injury to innocent motorists. The two people in the passenger car were unconscious when they were taken to the hospital. After the accident happened, the driver of the first SUV was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.
We usually report about road rage incidents in which the driver is the culprit. But as this incident clearly shows, passengers can play a role in these scenarios as well. According to RoadRagers.com, road rage is when someone participates in deliberately dangerous and violent behavior while operating a motor vehicle. Road rage can happen when someone is hit, whether by hand, another object or by motor vehicle, or when a weapon is fired from the vehicle. Road rage can be seen as a violation of property rights and an endangerment of personal security. When someone engages in road rage and it involves personal or property damage, it becomes a criminal offense.
Road rage can mean leaving your vehicle to kick, hit, knock or yell insults to another person. It can be caused by a number of events or environmental factors. Often, it’s caused by territorial defensiveness.
Drivers need to check their tempers behind the wheel. There may not be much you can do to control other drivers, but luckily, there are tips that can help you to avoid becoming the victim of road rage.
Avoid an Enraged Driver:
-Avoid making eye contact.
-Don’t switch to aggressive driving habits. Continue normally and avoid sudden accelerations, braking, swerving, etc.
-If you think you’re being followed, drive to the closest police station or busy place to get help.
-Lock your doors and roll up your windows.
-When forced to stop in traffic, leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you so that you can escape if needed.
-If someone you don’t know gets into your car, honk your horn or personal alarm to attract attention.
-Never fight back.
-Never respond to hand gestures, etc.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), road rage “involves a criminal act of violence, whereas aggressive driving can range from tailgating to speeding to running red lights.”
If you or someone who is close to you has been injured or killed in a car accident in Chicago or in any of the surrounding areas, the personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
More Blog Entries:
Factors Affecting Teen’s Risks for Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 7, 2012
Icy Roadways Cause More than a Dozen Illinois Car Accidents in Geneva, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, January 8, 2012