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Road rage in the Steel City: Who’s liable and how to stay safe

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Pittsburgh. Steel, sports and… road rage? While the “Steel City” is known for its rich history and passionate fans, it also has a bit of a reputation for aggressive drivers.

This aggression can sometimes boil over into dangerous situations, leading to accidents and injuries. If you’re caught in a road rage incident, how can you stay safe and who’s liable if an accident occurs?

Staying safe(r)

Being involved in a road rage incident can leave you shaken and with significant expenses. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to stay safe:

  • Don’t engage: The most important thing you can do is avoid confrontation. If another driver is behaving aggressively, avoid making eye contact, don’t respond with gestures and don’t try to engage in a fight.
  • Increase distance: If possible, safely put as much distance between you and the aggressive driver as possible.
  • Report the incident: If you feel you’re in danger, call 911 immediately. Report the driver’s description, license plate number and your location.

While road rage is a serious problem, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself. By staying calm, avoiding confrontation and reporting dangerous drivers, you can help keep yourself and others safer on the roads.

Who is liable?

Determining liability in the event that road rage leads to an accident depends on the specifics of the situation. In Pennsylvania, car accidents are handled under a system of “comparative negligence.” This means that fault for the accident can be shared between drivers. To prove fault, a court will typically consider the following factors:

  • The actions of the road-raging driver: This includes things like erratic swerving, following too closely, cutting off other drivers or using threatening gestures.
  • The other driver’s response: If the victim of the road rage reacted poorly, such as attempting to block the aggressive driver or brake checking, they may be found partially at fault.
  • Who caused the accident: Ultimately, the driver whose actions directly caused the collision is held mostly liable.

Should a reckless driver hit you despite your efforts to de-escalate their road rage, you can seek compensation for your injuries. Pursuing personalized legal guidance is usually the best way to get started.