Road rage is angry or aggressive behaviour displayed by motorists while on the road. There are different types of road rage, such as tailgating and rude gestures, through to more serious incidents such as car damage and physical assault. While no one is a perfect driver, there are ways that people can avoid road rage from occurring in the first place, and ways to cool the rage down should it start to occur. Road rage is typically triggered by another driver, and these actions that cause road rage are normally considered to be dangerous, discourteous, or irritating. This blog will explain what to do if you are involved in an accident that was caused by road rage from another driver. 

How common is road rage in Australia?

Road rage in Australia is actually a fairly common event, with 28% of Australian drivers – 4.6 million people – report having been involved in a road-rage incident as either the offender or the victim. (Source: National Road Safety Partnership Program). 

How can you avoid a road rage incident from occurring before getting in the vehicle?

There are a number of ways to potentially avoid getting into a road rage injury before actually getting into the vehicle. 

  • Don’t get into your car in an emotional state — it can increase your crash risk almost 10x
  • Plan ahead and leave early to avoid time-pressured driving, in case there are traffic delays.
  • Listen to your favourite music or podcast to make the trip more enjoyable or calming.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs — it not only increases your risk of a crash, but it can also make some people more prone to anger.
  • Practice mindfulness, which is all about being in the present moment. Try deep breathing techniques to help relax and destress.

If you are involved in a road rage accident that is initiated by another road user, there are some steps that you can take:

Step One: Do not react

  • Do not make eye contact, as this can only aggravate the other road user more. Do not engage with said aggressive behaviour and do not make any rude gestures in return. 

Step Two: Keep your distance

  • Stay in your car or another vehicle to remain distanced from further danger.
  • Keep a good distance by either letting the other driver overtake you or by increasing the gap between you when driving. 
  • Maintain a steady speed if you are being tailgated.

Step Three: Don’t go home

  • Remain aware of the other driver’s behaviour. 
  • If an aggravated driver is following you, it is safer to avoid going home at that time or pulling over, as they may attempt to damage your car.
  • Drive to the nearest police or fire station or another very public place instead.

Can you make a claim if you are a victim of road rage?

Yes, you can. If you have suffered a road rage accident in New South Wales and it wasn’t your fault, you are protected by the Civil Liability Act 2002 and the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999. Should the accident happen at work, you are also protected by the Workers Compensation Act. If the road rage accident occurs on a work-related trip and during work hours, then a worker’s compensation claim can be made. This includes truck drivers, a courier delivering packages, or the pizza delivery driver while they are delivering takeout to customers. If you have become injured from a car accident triggered by road rage, then you may be eligible for a motor vehicle accident triggered by road rage, then you may be eligible for a motor vehicle accident claim. If you think a claim can be made, please read this page for more information. Start the process today and speak to What’s My Claim Worth and see if your injury case can progress.