With traffic seeming to get more congested every day, it can be easy to lose your temper while driving. We understand your frustration, especially if another driver cuts you off or almost causes an accident due to texting while driving or another form of negligence. However, you and other Tennessee residents may not realize that you could face criminal charges for losing your cool to the point that you target another driver.
You might not think it is a very big deal to frighten some sense into an inconsiderate driver by retaliating against getting cut off or tailgated. However, tempers can easily escalate, especially when drivers are already under stress. According to the American Safety Council, 218 people across the United States were murdered and 12,610 were injured over a seven-year period in road rage incidents.
There is a difference between aggressive driving and road rage, which you should understand. Aggressive driving may involve dangerous behaviors, such as speeding, following too closely or cutting others off. However, these actions are considered traffic offenses by authorities. On the other hand, road rage is the deliberate intent to cause harm to someone else and is a criminal offense. You may be charged with assault for chasing another driver, running a vehicle off the road, using your vehicle or a weapon to harm someone or forcing another driver into a physical confrontation.
It is wise to stay calm in even the worst traffic, but as you know, it can also be easy to lose your patience without thinking. Our page on assault explains more about defending your rights when you are facing charges.