Driver Road Rage Bike Accident Attorney, Lawsuits and Claims
We’ve all seen a driver suffering from “road rage” – red face, aggressive driving maneuvers, hands gripping the steering wheel tightly. Perhaps this driver even uses one or more “hand signals” or is clearly yelling at other motorists on the roadway as he or she zips to his or her destination. A “road raging” driver presents a danger to others using the roadways – especially bicyclists, whose equipment and safety gear are no match for the speeding vehicle at the driver’s command. Because drivers who give in to road rage often behave in careless or reckless ways, these aggressive drivers can be held responsible for the injuries and losses they cause to bicyclists and their families.
Why Do Drivers Succumb to Driver Road Rage?
It may be impossible to know precisely why a given driver develops road rage. Stress may be a contributing factor in many cases – stress of family or work obligations, a developing crisis, an impending deadline, or the stress and inconvenience caused by having one’s travel time increased. Individuals who are aggressive, controlling, and/or have angry or violent tendencies in general may also be more likely to develop “road rage” when they are behind the wheel. In other cases, “road rage” may simply be the manner in which an otherwise agreeable and calm person relieves tension.
How Driver Road Rage Causes Bicycle Accidents
A driver in the throes of road rage is not in control of his or her mental faculties and behavior. He or she is likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviors like speeding, disregarding traffic control signs, and maneuvering without first looking to see if such maneuvers can be safely accomplished. Bicycle crashes are more likely to occur because:
- The motorist will not give the bicyclist sufficient clearance when attempting to pass the bicyclist;
- The motorist will be traveling too fast to avoid a collision with the bicyclist;
- The motorist will turn in front of the bicyclist or cut the bicyclist;
Although it seems unconscionable, some motorists with road rage may purposefully cause a collision with others they feel are keeping them from reaching their destination, including bicyclists. Because such behavior goes beyond mere negligence or even recklessness, a driver who intentionally strikes a bicyclist because of road rage may be responsible for paying punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.
What To Do If a Driver Appears to Have Road Rage
Regardless of the reason why a particular driver develops road rage, there is one simple piece of advice for nearby bicyclists – get out of the way of the driver. If at all possible, a bicyclist should pull off of the road and allow the angry driver to pass buy before resuming travel. Because in some cases the driver with road rage may drive aggressively but not make it far very quickly, the bicyclist should be mindful if he or she is able to catch back up with the driver. Maintaining a safe distance between one’s self and the road raging driver is essential to the bicyclist’s safety. In addition, the bicyclist should avoid:
- Trying to “race” the driver;
- Attempting to “get back at” the driver through aggressive riding (such as attempting to tail the driver or cut the driver off);
- Making eye contact with the driver (just like with a wild animal, the driver may become even more aggressive if eye contact is made);
Instead, the bicyclist should consider reporting the driver to local law enforcement. Telephoning the local dispatcher and providing a description of the car and/or driver as well as the driver’s direction of travel and a brief description of the driver’s behavior may prevent crashes by getting an aggressive and dangerous driver off of the road.
What To Do After a Driver Road Rage Accident
If you are a bicyclist and are in the unfortunate situation of being injured by a driver with road rage, your first concern must be your own health and safety. Summon emergency medical assistance as promptly as possible – the presence of other people may help calm the angry driver and prevent him or her from lashing out at you. If the driver does not stop at the scene of the accident (some may not), be prepared to provide a description of the car and driver to the police. Identify any witnesses who saw the accident and obtain their contact information as they can not only assist you in identifying the driver but they can also provide corroborating testimony concerning the motorist’s aggressive driving behavior.
Experienced Driver Road Rage Law Firm Helps Injured Bicyclists
Do not give up on seeking compensation for your injuries caused by a driver with road rage – these reckless and dangerous individuals can and should be held responsible for the harm they cause. Stern Law, PLLC has the resources and knowledge necessary to help inured bicyclists obtain compensation for their injuries and expenses caused by the crash. Call Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 and allow attorney Ken Stern help you recover monetary damages from the angry driver who caused your losses.