Road rage accidents differ from typical car crashes because they involve an enraged driver who takes steps to intentionally harm you or increase your risk for injury. The prevalence of these accidents has increased significantly over the years and has even resulted in deadly shootings.
Understanding the signs of road rage could not only help you prove that it caused your accident, but it could also potentially save your life.
Reckless Driving is a Criminal Offense in Nevada
In addition to paying out compensation for your damages, reckless drivers may face criminal charges. NRS § 484B.653 prohibits anyone from driving in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons on a highway or premises the public has access to. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense, and violators could face up to six months in jail and pay $250-$1,000 in fines.
If reckless driving causes death or bodily harm, the perpetrator will be charged with a category B felony and face one to six years in prison and $2,000-$5,000 in fines.
Characteristics of Aggressive Drivers
The American Psychological Association identified several characteristics of aggressive drivers, including the following:
- Hostile thinking – Aggressive behavior may begin with insulting comments about another’s driving, which could eventually lead to violent actions.
- Taking risks on the road – Drivers may rapidly change lanes, drive closely behind other cars, or drive well over the speed limit.
- Short tempers – This may seem obvious, but aggressive drivers will likely overreact faster than others by yelling, swearing, or honking their horns.
- Increased risk for accidents – Research shows that aggressive drivers are twice as likely to get into car accidents and are reported to have higher rates of near-accidents and tickets.
Factors that Contribute to Aggressive Driving Behaviors
Although hostile thoughts and short tempers are the behaviors that lead to road rage, studies reveal several factors that contribute to these aggressive tendencies, including the following:
- Environmental Factors – These include factors like the number of miles someone has driven and the amount of traffic on the road. Additional factors like carrying a gun may also increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior.
- Psychological Factors – These include tendencies to displace anger or blame others. Everyday stressors from work or home could also take a toll on an individual’s mental health, which could cause them to drive aggressively. Mental health disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, have also been known to cause impulsive behaviors that result in road rage.
- Substance Abuse – Studies found that alcohol and other forms of substance abuse could alter a driver’s behavior and be the catalyst for a road rage incident.
Road Rage Shootings Are on the Rise
Many road rage incidents have turned deadly. Research has shown that road rage shooting deaths have doubled across the country since 2018, with 70 in 2018 and 141 in 2022.
There has been an even greater increase in non-fatal injuries from road rage shootings. In 2018, 176 people were shot and injured in a road rage incident. In 2022, the victim count became 413—a 234% increase in the span of four years.
Nevada ranks among the top states for road rage shooting incidents. Research suggests that three people (2.94) in Nevada were shot in road rage incidents per one million residents in 2022.
How to Prove Road Rage Caused an Accident
Strong evidence could help discover that a driver’s aggressive behavior caused your accident. These pieces of evidence include the following:
- Witness Testimony – Other drivers on the road or pedestrians might see the at-fault driver tailgating you, honking their horn, or yelling out their window. These witness statements could help prove the other driver’s liability for the accident.
- Police Reports – When police arrive at the scene, they will conduct their own investigation to provide some determination of fault. Their report might include facts from the witnesses that detail the driver’s behavior prior to the accident, which could prove aggressive driving.
- Video Footage – If the incident occurred at an intersection, you may be able to retrieve the traffic cam footage that reveals the entire accident. The video footage might show the at-fault driver intentionally sideswipe you out of anger or rear end you because they were following to close.
- Prior Road Rage Incidents – Upon further investigation, your attorney might discover that the at-fault driver has a history of aggressive driving behavior. The enraged driver might have been prosecuted in the past for reckless driving.
- Expert Witnesses – Accident reconstruction experts can gather physical evidence from the crash scene and use it to create 2D or 3D simulations of the event. This could provide powerful insight into how the accident unfolded.
Injured in a Road Rage Accident? Call Us Today
Road rage accidents are common, and in some cases, they could be fatal. If you were injured in a road rage accident, or your loved one was killed by an enraged driver, contact Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC today at (702) 878-2889. Our attorneys have the resources you need to get the results you want, and we’re capable of taking your case to court if necessary. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.