What should I do if I’m a victim of road rage?

Driver looking behind

Road rage is a sudden violent-outburst of anger provoked in a motorist by the actions of another driver or road user. Road rage might include rude hand gestures, verbal abuse, threats of violence, dangerous driving such as tailgating, vehicle damage and violent behaviour such as assault.

According to Brake, 43% of drivers report being victimised by other drivers who were experiencing road rage. In one year, over 3,000 incidents of aggressive driving were reported, with 833 resulting in serious or fatal injury. Reported road rage incidents have increased by 70% in the past three years.

What to do if you encounter road rage

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) advises drivers to try to avoid assuming that other drivers' bad driving is a deliberate provocation. In the majority of cases, drivers may not realise they are acting in a provocative manner.

If you encounter road rage while driving, RoSPA strongly recommend that you do not retaliate. Avoid making eye contact with an angry driver, and if they begin to follow, do not return to your home but drive instead to a busy public place or police station.

  • Try to stay calm, keep your emotions in check and don’t engage with the aggressive driver.
  • Avoid eye contact which can sometimes escalate the situation.
  • When you can, put distance between you and the aggressive driver without speeding.
  • If the other driver tries to get you to pull over, don’t stop.
  • If you're stuck in traffic, lock your doors and put your windows up.
  • If necessary, drive to a busy location, such as a petrol station.
  • If you feel the situation warrants it or you are in danger, report it to the police.
  • Try to make a mental note of key details, including the car’s number plate, make and model, and any identifying features of the driver. When it is safe to do so, write down these details and an account of what happened.
  • If you decide to report the incident to the police, give them as much information as possible, including any evidence you might have gathered, like photographs or dashcam video.

Every situation is different, so use your best judgement and prioritise your own safety.

Can I claim compensation for a road rage injury?

Where possible, aggressive, threatening and dangerous driving should be reported to the police. If you decide to make a compensation claim for road rage, a police report will be an important piece of evidence in your case.

If the road rage incident results in you sustaining an injury, you may be able to make a claim for compensation in exactly the same way you would for any other road accident.

Read more:

Making a road injury compensation claim

What if the driver can't be identified?

The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) is a safety net for victims of road accidents involving uninsured or unidentified drivers. If you're injured in a road rage incident and the responsible driver either flees the scene or is not insured, a compensation claim could be made via the MIB.

Read more:

Making a claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB)

What if I was physically assaulted?

If you sustain injuries as the result of a physical assault, you may be able to make a claim for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). A solicitor can assist you with this, or you can make a claim through the CICA yourself without professional legal assistance. It is possible to make a CICA claim even if the identity of the attacker is unknown.

Read more:

Making a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

No win, no fee injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

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Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director