We usually meet the friendliest people in Texas — but that can change at the drop of a
hat gas pedal. Texas has almost the second highest number of these terrifying crashes in the country. This is a huge problem that sadly take the lives of over 1,500 people each year.
These are some of the latest horrific road rage incidents in Texas:
- In Houston two days ago, a female driver chased a woman riding a motorcycle and killed her;
- In Dallas last month, a man plead guilty to murdering a postal truck driver on I-30;
- In Arlington a man pointed his gun at a guy honking; and
- In Wylie two dueling pickup truck drivers caused a woman and her daughter to crash.
DFW has been rated in the past as the #2 worst area for road rage accidents in the country.
Given the higher frequency of road rage here, your chance of being injured due to the aggression of other drivers is worse than it should be. Here’s more info that can help you.
Signs of road rage
You presumably haven’t been a victim of road rage so you don’t know what it looks like. Here’s what happens: you are driving down the road when suddenly an enraged driver harasses you by
1. tailgating you,
2. blinding you with his high-beam headlights,
3. screaming, gesturing, or honking at you,
4. blocking your vehicle from moving into another lane,
5. cutting you off, and
6. even crashing into your vehicle.
Don’t think about trying to outdo the aggressor as he could be armed. Pull over and get out of his way. Go to a parking lot where other people are present in case he is still following you. If you can, take a photo him or her, their license plate number, and their vehicle. Call the police.
If he actually crashes his vehicle into yours, here is information about what you should do.
Note that there can be an important question as to whether the hostile driver is guilty of negligent driving or intentional road rage. That’s because the first is covered under his liability insurance policy but the second is not and the line is sometimes blurry. While most aggressive driving cases are coded by police officers as negligence, physical attacks with vehicles are categorized as assaults and can even be criminal acts.
So the sooner you document what happened, the better. This is especially necessary since we often see the uber aggressive driver accuse our client of cutting him off and being the one at fault.
The best way to corroborate what happened is through eyewitness testimony. If you can record him on your cell phone or we can secure surveillance video from area businesses to document the driver raging, your case will be maximized. In addition, the physical evidence, accident report, and investigating officer can build your case. Your injury attorney will help you obtain the evidence you need to prevail.
As with any vehicle collision case, you are entitled to be compensated for the damages you have suffered and will suffer, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. While this post obviously cannot give you a simple answer to how much your case may be worth, I’ve written about this topic many times including here: How can you get a good injury settlement?
In addition, if you can persuade the jury that the aggressive driver’s road rage-fueled conduct meets Texas’s high standard for gross negligence, you may be entitled to receive an award for punitive damages.
Berenson Injury Law has advocated for stronger enforcement of our traffic laws and pursued negligent drivers for almost 40 years.