Road Rage Incidents Can Lead To Higher Insurance RatesLearn about how road rage incidents can affect your auto insurance rates.
Our content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our and how we make money.
Being cut off by someone on the road or seeing a person texting on the highway is a sure way of getting your blood pressure skyrocketing.
But having road rage is something different and sometimes it can lead to long-term consequences for your insurance.
Read our article to find out what road rage is, what its consequences are, and how it can potentially affect your auto insurance rates.
Road Rage: What Is It?
Road rage is aggressive behavior that motorists exhibit on the road. It can take many different forms, including:
Some common driving behaviors that people with road rage use:
Cutting people off in traffic.
Road rage isn’t the same as being angry at someone for the way they’re driving. It is uncontrolled behavior that can often lead to accidents, injury, and in extreme cases, criminal charges.
Is Road Rage the Same as Aggressive Driving?
Both road rage and aggressive driving behaviors may share some common signs such as:
Driving over the speed limit.
They are, however, two different things.
Aggressive driving is a style or behavior on the road that many people might consider to be road rage.
However, you can be an aggressive driver with an aggressive driving style but still not suffer from road rage.
Road rage is an emotion that is highlighted by the inability to control or manage anger when driving. People with road rage can often find themselves in confrontations with other drivers and are unable to let real or perceived infractions go.
People who drive aggressively or show signs of aggressive driving can develop road rage behaviors.
Road Rage Can Cause Accidents
Driving recklessly, speeding, or not focusing on the road are all signs that correlate with a higher incidence of accidents. These are also all behaviors that people with road rage have. Think about it. If a person is focused on another driver, they’re not focused on the road and can easily miss things like red lights, other vehicles, obstructions, people, or animals crossing the road.
In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that:
Excessive speeding killed 9,478 in 2019. Distracted driving killed 3,142 people in 2020.
Both are behaviors associated with road rage that can have a devastating impact on people and cause serious accidents.
Tips to Avoid Road Rage Situations
The first thing you can do to avoid road rage incidents is to practice defensive driving and stay vigilant at all times when you’re driving.
Secondly, always try to remain calm and focused in dangerous or scary situations. If somebody is driving aggressively near you, the best thing you can do is get as far away from them as you can.
Handling Road Rage and Aggressive Drivers
Here are some tips you should keep in mind if you encounter an aggressive driver or someone with road rage.
If you find yourself in a situation where someone is tailgating, brake checking, or cutting you off for any reason, you can do a few things:
Remain calm and don’t respond to their aggression.
If it’s safe to do, call 911, tell the operator the situation, and ask what you should do.
Try to maintain distance from the person who is being aggressive.
If you have an opportunity to get away from the situation, use it. You’d rather be 5 minutes late than be involved in a road rage incident.
If the person forces you to stop, never leave your vehicle to confront them. Look for an opportunity to drive away as soon as you can.
If you see police officers, try to get their attention if you feel unsafe.
If someone is harassing you, drive to the nearest police station.
Going on a defensive driving course is a good way to learn how to drive in a way that will minimize your chances of being involved in a road rage incident and dealing with dangerous drivers.
It could also help you lower your car insurance rates as auto insurance providers offer discounts to people who have done certified defensive driving courses.
Legal Consequences of Road Rage
While road rage isn’t explicitly illegal in America, specific actions that are caused by road rage lead to traffic violations and in some cases criminal charges. If you are involved in a road rage incident, you could be facing serious legal trouble.
There are hundreds of cases each year of people being injured in road rage incidents. Any smart lawyer will tell you to avoid confrontations with other motorists, especially if you’re angry or upset.
Here are some of the most common consequences of road rage:
Road rage can lead to reckless driving, accidents, and property damage, all of which will go on your driving record. Your auto insurance premiums are based on your driving history, and each time you have an accident, you’ll likely have to pay an excess charge, and your insurance premium rates will increase.
Do this a few times, and you could pay more than double the rates that a person with a clean driving history pays for coverage.
Having to file an SR-22 form with your state
SR-22 forms allow people to keep or reinstate their driving license after several accidents or infractions. They are usually court-ordered, and people with SR-22s will pay much higher car insurance rates than people with a clean driving record.
If you’re involved in road rage incidents that lead to property damage, or criminal actions such as assault or reckless driving, you may be forced to get SR-22 car insurance and pay higher premiums for coverage.
Speeding tickets and traffic violations
Your car insurance company is notified of all traffic violations and infringements you’ve been involved in. They can even pull up your record for the past couple of years to check whether you have tickets, parking violations, or other infringements on your record.
Traffic tickets and violations will always lead to higher car insurance rates because your auto insurance company will consider you a higher risk for accidents.
Being classified as a high-risk driver or dangerous driver
If you begin to get a lot of speeding tickets issued or have been involved in a few accidents, your insurance company will likely classify you as a high-risk driver.
Potentially losing your license
If you have repeated traffic violations and accidents, your driving license may be suspended or even taken away from you. This is especially important to consider if a person has road rage, as the chances of being involved in accidents are higher than most.
How Can Road Rage Affect Car Insurance?
What’s the harm in getting angry on the road? Well, this might not be a problem most of the time, but if something happens because of a road rage incident, you can bet your insurance company will find out about it at some point.
If your auto insurance ends and you need new coverage, you’ll have to undergo an underwriting process. This will include your auto insurance provider examining your credit card record and driving history before offering you a certain rate.
While road rage and aggressive driving won’t affect your car insurance rates, their potential consequences can affect your monthly premiums for years afterward.
If you’re involved in a road rage incident that leads to criminal charges or arrest, your insurance company will see it on your records and potentially classify you as a high-risk driver. You may even have to file a court-ordered SR-22 form with your coverage provider.
Road rage incidents can make your auto insurance a lot more expensive than coverage for other drivers, and you may end up having to reduce your coverage to your state’s minimum liability coverage just to be able to drive.
What Will Affect My Car Insurance Rates?
Will Insurance Rates Increase after an Accident?
This will depend on whose fault the accident was and your local state motor vehicle laws around the fault and no-fault coverage.
A few states in the U.S. are known as no-fault states that require each person involved in an accident to cover their expenses for repairs.
No-fault states include:
The no-fault rule is a principle in insurance that tells each person involved in an accident who is liable to cover damage caused by an auto accident.
On the other hand, the at-fault rule means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for the damages to their car and any other motor vehicles, people, or property damaged in an accident.
For example, if you lived in an at-fault state like California and you ran a red light and collided with another car, you would be liable for the other person’s damages and your damages.
However, In a no-fault state like Florida, each person would have to pay for their damages and then sue the other party for compensation.
Keep in mind that the no-fault principle doesn’t protect a person from being sued for other damages by the affected party. If you are sued by someone for damages, your future car insurance rates may be affected.
Our Verdict on Road Rage and Auto Insurance
While everyone can become upset or frustrated on the road, you must maintain your calm and don’t let your anger affect your car insurance policy.
The consequences of road rage incidents can be long-lasting. Your insurance company could look as far back as seven years for serious traffic violations, depending on your state.
Depending on where you live, they’ll also be notified of minor infractions such as parking tickets, no-fault accidents, and traffic violations for up to three years.
Auto insurance is a necessity, and your best bet is to stick to the rules of the road and avoid road rage if you want to get the best deal on auto insurance for the rest of your life.
Some companies specialize in high-risk profile drivers, but they generally charge more for coverage than other auto insurers.
Our expert advisors can help you get the best deals on auto insurance, SR-22 insurance, and even insurance coverage for motorbikes, RVs, and boats.
Where Can I Learn More about Auto Insurance?
Being involved in a road rage incident can impact your finances, your criminal record, and your auto insurance policies.
Always try to remain calm on the road and practice defensive driving. If you are involved in a road rage-induced accident, and your insurance has gone up, you can always look for a better deal from other insurers in your state.
Want to learn more about auto insurance? Visit our auto insurance hub to find our latest articles and guides.