It can be too easy to lose patience in traffic these days. With everyone being in a hurry and more drivers sharing the roads, combined with people’s tendency to be overstressed and under-rested, it seems only natural to want to take out your frustrations on the driver who cut you off. However, at Bazzi Law, PLC, we know that there can be serious consequences to losing your cool in traffic. We also know there is a distinct line between aggressive driving and road rage, which Michigan law enforcement might not consider when issuing you a citation.
According to the American Safety Council, road rage differs from aggressive driving in that people who engage in road rage are deliberately trying to harm someone else. They may use their vehicle as a weapon to ram another driver or force him or her off the road. They could use a weapon, such as a firearm, knife or heavy tool, against their target. They may even chase the other driver long distances and try to corner him or her to force a confrontation. Therefore, road rage is a criminal offense.
On the other hand, aggressive driving is considered a lesser traffic offense. Speeding, cutting others off, weaving in and out of lanes and tailgating are dangerous traffic behaviors, but they are considered aggressive driving if there was no intent to harm anyone. Authorities, however, may feel otherwise and charge you with a higher offense, especially if an accident occurred.
Our page on traffic violations explains how you can address charges for aggressive driving and other traffic-related offenses.