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What is Considered Road Rage?

A man wearing sunglasses arguing with another driver.

Road accidents, unfortunately, affect millions of people around the world. But not all accidents are created equal. Some are a result of what is known as “Road Rage.”

Road rage is when someone aggressively drives down the lanes caring little for other motorists, pedestrians, and other structures. If you believe that you’ve been a victim of road rage, then you should have complete clarity about the subject. In this article, we will explore the concept of road rage in detail. Let’s get started.

What is Road Rage?

In the United States, road laws differ from state to state. But all state adopt the official definition of road rage as described by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, which is “An act of assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle or precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.

In terms of road accidents, road rage is referred to as “Aggressive driving.” NHTSA defines it as an individual committing a combination of moving offenses that puts other persons and properties around him/her in danger.

What Causes Road Rage?

Road rage takes place when the driver of a vehicle drives irresponsibly, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Certain external factors can trigger road rage or aggressive driving. Those are:

Traffic Delays

Not everyone can tolerate the annoyance of sitting in the middle of a traffic jam. Some people might show an aggressive form of driving and hit other vehicles in the process.

Running Late To A Destination

If people are running late and get stuck in traffic, this increases the chances of triggering road rage. While most of the incidents will be unintentional, drivers may end up hurting people around them.

Driving Under Influence

Driving under the alcoholic influence also can trigger road rage. Drivers may not even know that they’re driving aggressively. Driving under the alcoholic influence is also considered a severe offense in many states, including Ohio and Indiana.

Influence doesn’t always have to be alcoholic. Drivers may drive on their friend’s or fellow passenger’s instructions too.

Disregard To Others

Sometimes drivers build a notion that the rules don’t apply to them and are above the law. Thus, they engage in aggressive driving and end up harming others.


In a few cases, drivers feel like they won’t be seeing the other driver next time. Thus, they engage in aggressive driving and think that they’ll remain anonymous.

Habitual Norm

Some drivers are just used to driving aggressively on roads. So, road rage is not unusual for them.

There are other causes of this behavior too, but the ones mentioned above are the most common ones.

Types of Road Rage

Road Rage can be classified into multiple types. Those are:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Excessive and dangerous lane changing
  • Horn blowing
  • Speeding through intersections
  • Jumping in and out of the traffic
  • Speeding to prevent others
  • Making rolling stops
  • Racing against others or within a group

Speeding is the most common type of road rage seen on roads. When people are late or see empty spaces, they drive dangerously, which can be described as aggressive driving.

It’s also not uncommon for people to engage in racing. Mostly teenagers, arrange races for fun on public roads. But it is often accompanied by road rage, which poses a threat to those around them.

Road Rage Lawsuits

If you were a victim of an incident, you could file a lawsuit to receive compensation. For this, you must hire an accident attorney who will correctly handle the case for you.

First, you need to define the type of rage. Was it tailgating, or were they speeding and hit you in the process?

Then, you need to establish liability. You have to prove that they hit your vehicle and the damages were caused by it and not by any other incident. You do not need a guilty verdict or need to file criminal charges to claim a personal injury suit (although proving those makes the task easier). But you’d have to prove that they were acting in rage and intended to hit your vehicle.

You can claim compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering. The accident lawyer will help you claim the compensation while you can focus on recovery if you’re suffering from trauma.

If you have faced a road rage incident recently and want to present your case, our auto accident attorneys are here to help you. Backed up by years of experience, we can strengthen your case and help you put the best foot forward. Contact us today to learn more.

Jay A. Bolotin is a partner at the injury law firm of Young, Reverman & Bolotin. Serving the people of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, Jay dedicates his career to helping clients in the tri-state area obtain financial compensation after suffering serious injuries. He focuses his practice on cases involving car accidents, trucking accidents, dog bites and animal attacks, and other types of personal injury incidents.

Years of Experience: More than 25 years
Registration Status:: Active
Bar Admissions: Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Cincinati Bar Association