What is “road rage”?
By definition, road rage is “aggressive or angry behavior exhibited by motorists.”
Examples of road rage include:
- Inappropriate verbal insults
- Threats of physical harm while driving
- Driving dangerously or aggressively with the intention to intimidate another person, i.e.: a driver, pedestrian, cyclist, etc.
Common actions that exemplify road rage are:
- Tailgating – driving so close to another vehicle that there is not enough room to stop without causing a collision
- Brake checking – intentionally hitting the brakes causing the person behind to also brake or take evasive action
- Erratic driving/swerving – switching lanes back and forth abruptly
- Honking aggressively/laying on the horn – repeatedly honking the horn and holding the horn down for long periods of time
This type of behavior can ultimately lead to verbal and/or physical aggression, property damage, serious injuries and, in the worst cases, death. There are no designated “road rage” laws that govern these traffic violations; however, they have been broken down into four Nevada laws including: reckless driving, aggressive driving, assault, and battery laws.
In Nevada, road rage incidents that do not result in injury are classified under Nevada’s reckless driving law. Specifically Nevada code NRS 484B.653 which states that it is unlawful for a person to:
(a) Drive a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property on a highway or premises to which the public has access.
(b) Drive a vehicle in an unauthorized speed contest on a highway or premises to which the public has access.
(c) Organize an unauthorized speed contest on a highway or premises to which the public has access.
(d) Drive a vehicle in an unauthorized trick driving display on a public highway.
(e) Facilitate an unauthorized trick driving display on a public highway.
A violation of paragraph (a), (b) or (d) of this subsection or subsection 1 of NRS 484B.550 constitutes reckless driving.
A road rage incident that does not result in a physical injury or in a death is classified as a misdemeanor offense. Those charges consist of up to eight demerit points against the driver’s license and potential jail time of up to six months, along with the following fines:
- $1,000 – first offense
- $1,500 – second offense
- $2,000 – third and subsequent offenses
When a road rage incident involves the attempt to do bodily harm by use of aggressive and reckless driving maneuvers aimed at another driver or non-driver with the intent to injure them, it is a violation of Nevada’s assault laws. According to Nevada code NRS 200.471 “assault” means:
(1) Unlawfully attempting to use physical force against another person; or
(2) Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm.
In the event that a road rage incident involves physical forceful contact with the intent to injure another, it is a violation of Nevada’s battery laws. According to Nevada code NRS 200.481, “battery” means any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.
Both assault and battery carry penalties that differ based on whether there was use of a deadly weapon or not. In the event of assault without the use of a deadly weapon, it is considered a misdemeanor with penalties that can potentially include up to 6 months of jail time and $1,000 fine. On the other hand, in the event of assault with the use of a deadly weapon, it is considered a felony with penalties that can potentially include up to 1-6 years in prison and $5,000 fine. A deadly weapon is any item that can inflict mortal or great bodily harm. Some examples of types of items considered to be a potentially “deadly weapon” can be a vehicle, firearms, a knife, and heavy objects such as a lead pipe or a baseball bat.
When any road rage incident results in serious injury or death, they incur felony charges and can carry penalties of 1 to 15 years in prison and potential fines up to $10,000 based on whether there was use of a deadly weapon, as well as the extent of the victim’s injuries.
Road rage can result in extremely serious charges with life altering consequences. Seeking the assistance of attorneys like the ones at Ticket Busters who know the laws from traffic to criminal defense and can assist you in navigating the process that follows is the best way to protect yourself. Whether you have received a ticket for a common traffic violation or may be facing potentially severe charges associated with reckless driving due to road rage, our team of attorneys and legal professionals are here to help.