Most Chicago drivers are familiar with road rage. Heavy traffic - both downtown and in the suburbs of Chicagoland - can lead to hot tempers. Honking, tailgating, yelling, obscene gestures, and other behaviors may seem innocuous, but the reality is that they can lead to car accidents that seriously injure innocent victims.
Victims who are injured by enraged drivers have the legal right to be compensated for their injuries and losses. Such compensation also provides an important incentive for negligent drivers to control their road rage in the future, thus protecting other innocent victims from being injured in similar accidents.
The Facts About Road Rage
Road rage is far more than simple honking or yelling. Many drivers are not aware of just how dangerous road rage can actually be. Driversed.com reports that 37 percent of all road rage incidents involve firearms. Road rage is responsible for approximately 30 murders every year, as well. These murders are the result of car accidents caused by road rage, use of firearms to resolve road rage disputes, and violent altercations that move from the road to the street or even the home.
Overt violence is not the only danger associated with road rage. Road rage behaviors make it more likely that an accident will be caused by human error. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a whopping 94 percent of all traffic accidents in the United States are caused by human error. Approximately one-third of accidents caused by human error are attributable to aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, cutting off another driver, or changing lanes without signaling.
Sadly, road rage is not an uncommon occurrence. A AAA survey found that 80 percent of respondents had experienced road rage or aggression while on the road. Even more frightening: eight million respondents had escalated a road rage situation by purposely hitting another car or confronting another driver.
Road Rage Incidents in Chicago
Chicago is not lacking for evidence of road rage. In October 2017, a young man was arrested for shooting a 65-year-old driver in a road rage incident that occurred in the Elmhurst suburb. After the victim drove around the defendant at an intersection, the young man began following the victim’s vehicle. He eventually drove into a lane of oncoming traffic and fired a gun at the victim’s face. CBS Chicago reports that the perpetrator now faces felony charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. He also had his young son in the vehicle at the time and thus faces an additional misdemeanor charge of child endangerment. The victim was taken to a hospital where he had to undergo surgery for a gunshot wound to the face.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys know just how devastating road rage can be for the victims and families who are affected by it. It is important that these victims hold negligent drivers accountable for road rage in order to protect other innocent victims from being hurt.