It is one of the worst types of traffic scenarios that can happen when you least expect it. You are driving along when you accidentally cut someone off or drift into their lane, or maybe you did nothing wrong that you can perceive, but another driver snaps. Suddenly, you feel as if you are in a fight for your life as an out-of-control person pursues you. For you and other Pennsylvanians caught in an incident of road rage, this situation can be terrifying and dangerous.
You may also be interested to learn that there is a difference between aggressive driving and true road rage.
Understanding road rage vs. aggressive driving
Aggressive driving is responsible for 66 percent of fatal auto accidents, according to the American Safety Council. Over a seven-year period, road rage has contributed to 12,610 injuries and 218 murders. Why are road rage fatalities considered murders and not accidents, you may wonder? When a driver loses control and switches to road rage mode, it is a criminal offense, regardless of acting in the heat of the moment. Those engaging in road rage are making a deliberate attempt to harm someone else, which is assault. Aggressive driving, on the other hand, involves reckless driving that may endanger others, with no actual intent to injure someone.
Escaping a violent traffic incident
When you are being chased by someone intent on causing you harm, your first instinct may be to get home as fast as possible. However, this is almost never a good idea. You do not want your attacker to know where you live. Getting somewhere safe is smart, however. A police station, fire station or well-lit area with other people nearby are good places to seek refuge. Do not leave your vehicle if the other driver corners or strikes you and forces you to stop. Lock your doors and call 911.
In addition to facing criminal charges, the person who harms you in a road rage accident may also be liable for your injuries.