Road rage describes aggressive driving or actions by a motorist with the intent to cause harm to someone else who is sharing the road. These actions are usually triggered when the driver is already feeling stressed or agitated about outside factors, such as running late to work or getting caught in traffic. Road rage can result in criminal charges against the driver ranging from reckless driving to assault with a deadly weapon. Unfortunately, road rage incidents are all-too-common in Los Angeles, and can be especially dangerous for bicyclists. In addition to good bicycle safety practices, it’s important for riders to know how to respond in the event of road rage.
The best way to avoid a road rage altercation is to be alert while riding. Avoid vehicles that appear to be driving erratically or have a driver that looks to be agitated. If a vehicle engages in taunting or aggressive behavior while you are on your bicycle the urge may be great to reciprocate, but it’s your responsibility to respond in a way that does not lead to an altercation or injury.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts to avoid an altercation, another driver will lash out. If this happens – especially if you experience personal injury or property damage as a result – it’s essential that you are able to accurately recall critical information and details. If possible, take a few pictures or videos using your phone, but only if it can be done discretely as not to appear antagonizing to the other person involved. Also, take note of information such as license plate numbers, the location where the road rage occurred, and anyone who may have witnessed the event.
If you are injured as a result of road rage, do not leave the scene. Call 911 for help immediately.
Section 21200 of the California legal code states that a person riding a bicycle has all the rights and is subject to all the same provisions as a driver of a motor vehicle. If you were in an accident that you believe was the result of someone violating these rights or experiencing road rage, you need an attorney who specializes in representing injured bicyclists. Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation.