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Houston Road Rage Accidents

When an accident occurs due to another driver’s road rage and reckless behavior behind the wheel, the experience can be both traumatic and bewildering. Sadly, road rage accidents in Houston and throughout Texas are on the rise.

According to a AAA survey, more than 80% of drivers admitted to exhibiting anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel at least once during the 30 days before the survey. In 2022, Texas saw over 1,600 accidents caused by road rage behaviors in negligent drivers.

What is road rage, and how do drivers in Houston recognize road rage in other drivers or themselves? If you’ve been injured in a road rage accident, you may also be wondering how another driver’s road rage impacts your car accident claim in Houston.

What is Road Rage?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes road rage as “Operating a motor vehicle in a way that endangers other people and property.” Examples of road rage in Houston and throughout Texas include the following driving behaviors:

  • Excessively speeding
  • Weaving dangerously through traffic
  • Aggressively tailgating other vehicles (following too closely)
  • Running through red lights or stop signs
  • Speeding up when another driver tries to pass
  • Flashing headlights
  • Aggressively honking a horn

In addition to reckless driving behaviors, motorists experiencing road rage may also do the following:

  • Make rude gestures
  • Roll down the window to yell, swear, or threaten other drivers
  • Throw objects at another vehicle
  • Leave their vehicles to approach another driver in a threatening manner
  • Physically assault another driver

In the worst examples of road rage in Texas, some aggressive drivers commit murder while enraged in traffic, either through vehicular homicide or by beating, shooting, or stabbing another motorist.

How Does Road Rage Cause Accidents in Texas?

Road rage incidents not only cause injuries through purposeful physical violence, but they are also a significant cause of accidents. Alarming new data reveals that up to 56% of car accidents today result from road rage behaviors. Sadly, half of all drivers respond to road rage with their own outraged aggressive driving behaviors, furthering the risk of an accident. Road rage and aggressive driving causes the following types of car accidents in Houston and throughout Texas:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Run-off-the-road accidents
  • Sideswipe accidents
  • Rollovers

As a driver swerves or speeds to avoid, outpace, or maneuver away from a driver exhibiting road rage, they are at a greatly increased risk of an accident. The risk of an accident increases if the driver responds to road rage aggressively rather than attempting to de-escalate the situation.

Driver Negligence in Road Rage Accidents in Houston

When a driver’s aggressive behavior behind the wheel causes an accident, they are liable for damages according to the fault-based insurance laws in Texas. Texas has a comparative negligence insurance system that divides the percentage of fault between drivers. This makes it doubly important to avoid responding aggressively to a driver exhibiting road rage. If your driving behavior contributes to an accident, your compensation is lowered by your percentage of fault. For instance, a $100,000 car accident claim in Texas will be reduced to $75,000 if you’re found to be 25% at fault for the accident.

Instead of responding with anger and your own aggressive or reckless driving, it’s best to diffuse the situation. According to AAA, the best way to do this is to respond to another driver’s aggressive anger by giving them a little wave and mouthing the words “I’m sorry,” after doing something the angry driver perceives as wrongful, such as cutting them off in traffic or otherwise causing them frustration, even if you did nothing wrong. Then, create distance between your vehicle and theirs in any way possible, but do not pull over if you think the aggressive driver may pull over as well and physically confront you.

Always call 911 to report a driver with road rage rather than putting yourself in a dangerous position on the road.

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