Do D.C. Drivers Have a Road Rage Problem?

By Peter DePaolis

Road rage is when a driver gets furious behind the wheel and aggressively targets another driver. This can include the following behaviors:

  • Tailgating
  • Honking the horn excessively
  • Speeding
  • Cutting off others suddenly
  • Rude gestures or attempting to shout out the window at other drivers
  • Throwing objects from a vehicle
  • Intentionally causing a car accident
  • Getting out of the car in an attempt to confront another driver
  • Even threatening to use or using a firearm

According to a recent poll by AAA Mid Atlantic, D.C. drivers believe aggressive driving is the leading threat to highway safety. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says 80 percent of drivers in the U.S. have displayed aggression, anger and road rage while driving at least once in this last year. However, D.C. has experienced more extreme cases. Last year alone, a man shot another driver, a man bit a woman’s finger and even a police officer was arrested due to road rage incidents.

Tips on How to Avoid Road Rage Drivers

Road rage incidents can escalate quickly and can have disastrous consequences for both parties involved. If you find yourself targeted by a road rage driver, there are some steps you can take to avoid a confrontation or a car crash.

  • Stay calm and don’t let the anger spread to you
  • If someone is tailgating you, safely move out of the lane the first chance you get
  • Avoid eye contact, and do not make any gestures
  • Make sure you have enough room around your car, just in case you need to make an escape
  • If a driver gets out of his or her car, stay inside yours as it offers protection

How Our D.C. Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

In a road rage incident, rationality often goes out the window and it is easy for the situation to escalate to a dangerous level. If you are being followed, a driver is trying to run you off the road or has gotten out of the car to confront you, it is important that you call the police immediately and report the incident.

The Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP help victims who have sustained injuries in a car crash caused by road rage incidents. Contact us today to speak to one of our attorneys.


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.