Colorado Road Rage Lawyers
According to the Denver Office of Economic Development (“OED”), Metropolitan Denver has a population of 2.7 million, with a growth rate that has consistently outpaced the national average every year. With thousands of newcomers relocating to Denver daily, the population is anticipated to increase by nearly 50 percent in less than fifteen years. With such an immense influx of new residents annually, it is not surprising Colorado roadways are growing more and more congested with traffic jams. The Denver auto accident lawyers at Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, have certainly seen an increase in car crashes over the last few years.
Sitting for long periods of time in rush-hour traffic can lead some motorists to exhibit very short tempers. This experience can lead the impatient drivers to tailgate, disobey traffic signals, and even change lanes abruptly. This behavior has become an epidemic and goes by the name of road rage.
What is Road Rage?
Road rage is defined as “a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior.” Remarkably, road rage is not usually the result of alcohol or drug related driving. Rather, it involves one driver’s deliberate attempt to harm another. Reported incidents have been on a steady rise since the 90s.
It is difficult to identify what leads drivers to experience road rage. Virtually anything can tip a person to the brink of such anger. The following actions are generally considered acts of road rage:
- Sudden acceleration followed by “brake checking”;
- Close tailgating;
- Cutting off another driver in a lane;
- Deliberately preventing another driver from merging into a lane;
- Sound a vehicle’s horns or flashing lights excessively;
- Rude gestures;
- Shouting verbal abuse, threats, and even spitting at another driver;
- Intentionally causing a collision between vehicles;
- Running another driver off the road;
- Swerving to prevent passing or to threaten another driver;
- Exiting the vehicle to attempt to start a confrontation;
- Striking another vehicle with an object;
- Threatening to use, using, or brandishing a firearm or other deadly weapon.
What is Aggressive Driving?
Road rage is not the same as aggressive driving. This impression is a common misconception amongst the public. In the most simplistic terms, aggressive driving is a traffic offense while road rage is a criminal offense.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), aggressive driving is “a combination of unsafe and unlawful driving actions that demonstrate a disregard for safety.” NHTSA’s research reveals more than 60 percent of drivers believe aggressive driving is a personal threat to safety yet more than half admitted to driving aggressively on occasion.
Some drivers admit to driving aggressively but are adamant they do not drive with road rage. Unlike road rage, where a driver willfully and wantonly disregards the safety of others, the aggressive driver fails to consider the human element involved. The anonymity associated with driving can create a false sense of control and power, causing some drivers to disregard the consequences of their actions. Behaviors typically reflective of aggressive driving include:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit;
- Following too closely;
- Erratic Movements;
- Unsafe lane changes;
- Improperly signaling lane changes;
- Operating a vehicle in a selfish manner;
- Driving too fast for conditions;
- Maneuvering without regard of others;
- Causing others to take evasive action;
- Flashing lights;
- Brake checking;
- Blowing the horn;
- Preventing faster drivers from passing;
- Deliberately ignoring traffic controls;
- Driving in a way to gain an advantage over other drivers.
Nearly a dozen states have enacted laws that enhance the common traffic ticket to a more serious misdemeanor or a felony. Although there is no actual crime called “road rage” in Colorado, both road rage and aggressive driving can be charged as a variety of different crimes, both felony and misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances:
- Reckless Driving (C.R.S. 42-4-1401) – When a person who drives in such a manner as to indicate either a wanton or a willful disregard for the safety of persons or property
- Careless Driving (C.R.S. 42-4-1402) – When a person drives in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon (C.R.S. 18-3-202) –When a person intentionally causes bodily injury, often by use or threat of use of a deadly weapon
- Assault – when a person attempt to commit a violent injury against another person.
- Battery – When a person uses unlawful force or violence against another person.
- Hit and Run (C.R.S. 42-4-1601) – When a person damages property or injures someone in a car collision and leaves the scene without exchanging information or helping the victim
- Brandishing a Firearm – When a person shows or draws a firearm in an angry, rude, or threating manner
NHTSA estimates that one third of all traffic crashes and two thirds of traffic fatalities are attributable to driving behavior commonly associated with aggressive driving and/or road rage. With more drivers hitting the streets each day, the Denver auto accident lawyers want to help educate the public on the significance of aggressive driving and road rage.
With constant traffic and never-ending construction, a trip to the opposite side of Denver can turn into an hour-long affair. It is not surprising then, that driving in these conditions can leave a person frustrated and stressed. No matter how bad it gets, it is never acceptable for a driver to take their aggression out on another person.
Colorado Road Rage Lawyers
If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by aggressive driving or road rage, call the experienced Denver road rage accident lawyers at Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, to discuss your legal rights. These types of collisions can result in serious back and neck injuries, broken bones, head trauma, and sometimes death. Motorists that injure others are responsible for the damages they caused, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
If you have questions about Road Rage And Aggressive Driving in the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, the Denver auto accident lawyers at Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, will be pleased to answer those questions. Call us at 720.863.6904 or email us. Our Denver personal Injury Lawyers handle a wide range of cases, including Car Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Bike Accidents, Motorcycle Collisions, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip and Fall Accidents, Dog Bite Accidents, and any other form of personal injury in Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.