People across the country know that it can be a challenge to drive in California. The state is highly populated, highways are congested most of the time and drivers can be stressed out and in a hurry. Not surprisingly, it can be easy to lose your patience in traffic. It might be something as simple as another driver cutting you off and making you miss your turn, or someone not paying attention and bumping into you at a traffic light. Suddenly, you are seeing red, and the only thing you can think about is getting back at the person who angered you.
You may have never done anything aggressive in your life, but now it is all too tempting to retaliate. This is not uncommon, as the American Safety Council points out. Many otherwise rational people can react unpredictably and violently if another driver’s actions endangered them or were deliberately offensive.
Aggressive driving vs. road rage
You might be surprised to learn that most behaviors people assume to be road rage are actually considered aggressive driving. Aggressive driving behaviors, which include tailgating, speeding, cutting people off and using offensive gestures, may be dangerous and can get you a traffic offense ticket. Like aggressive driving, road rage can cause accidents and serious injuries, but road rage is a criminal offense. If you face charges of road rage, authorities may have believed you intentionally meant to harm someone else by using your vehicle or something inside the car as a weapon. You may also face criminal charges for chasing someone down, even if you did not intend to cause harm.
Defending a charge
Like others who have faced road rage charges, you may have reacted in the heat of the moment without fully realizing the consequences. The law entitles you to seek a competent defense.