Road Rage Wrecks in Jacksonville
Road rage crashes in Jacksonville follow an act of anger or frustration on the highway and are highly preventable. Florida has an unenviable reputation for road rage incidents.
At one point, the website AutoVantage.com named Florida the road rage capital of the United States for three years in a row. Miami was named as the worst city in the country for road rage. Our Jacksonville auto accident lawyers have to deal with accidents and injuries caused by aggressive driving.
Our accident attorneys have seen instances of road rage in many different forms. It can involve a loss of temper which means drivers deliberately tailgate each other, race each other, run red lights, cut in front of each other or perform illegal lane changes. Road rage is also the label attached to certain criminal offenses which can involve the use of violence and guns on the highway.
We often read about road rage wrecks in Jacksonville. In 2017, a newly licensed teen and her family were reportedly victimized by a road rage driver. A report in Jacksonville.com noted the teen driver and her family were tailgated by the driver of a pickup truck who then rammed their vehicle on the Shands Bridge, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
The pickup truck driver told deputies he was annoyed the teen was driving too slowly. That driver was charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count of leaving the scene of a crash. Fortunately, the teen driver and her family were not injured in the crash. Not all road rage victims are so lucky.
If you were injured in a road rage wreck in Jacksonville, you may be able to make a claim for personal injuries and property damage.
If your road rage case is one we accept, you may receive the following damages:
- Medical bills for your injuries;
- Financial recovery for pain and suffering;
- Lost wages; and
- Property damage to your vehicle.
Road rage is a loosely defined term as there is no national consensus on exactly how to define it. In some cases, it may not be clear if an at-fault driver causes an accident due to negligence or aggressive driving. Whether a driver was careless or angry may make little difference in a lawsuit if he or she was liable for the crash.
One Florida law is intended to remove poor drivers from the road. A law that was enacted in 2009 forces drivers who have been found to be culpable in three crashes over a three-year period to enroll on a driver's education course and pass a driving test, just as when they first obtained a driver's license.
Some laws are aimed at removing potential triggers that could cause road rage in other drivers. A measure enacted in 2013 means drivers who are traveling slowly in the fast lane can now be ticketed and fined $60. The so-called “road rage” law made it illegal for motorists to drive more than 10 miles below the speed limit in the left lane of a highway with multiple lanes if another car is coming up behind them.How to Avoid Road Rage Wrecks in Jacksonville
You can’t always avoid a road rage crash but there are some steps you can take to avoid road rage accidents. You should:
- Move over if someone is tailgating you to diffuse a potential road rage scenario.
- Use an “I'm sorry” gesture such as waving to calm down another driver.
- Drive defensively and anticipate potential flashpoints.
- Don’t immediately get out of your car if you have been in an accident. Phone the police first.
- Allow time for delays during your journey so as you are not rushing.
- Don’t speed and slow down in bad weather.
- Avoid abusive gestures and using your horn unless it’s necessary.
It’s not clear why Florida has such an appalling record for road rage, but pertinent factors may include traffic congestion in big cities like Jacksonville, sweltering heat in the summer and a massive influx of tourist traffic.
If you have been hurt in a road rage accident, please contact our experienced Jacksonville car accident injury lawyers at (904) 632-0077.