By

Tito Bucheli

Updated

April 3, 2024

Edited By

Fausto Bucheli Jr
Image Credit: Pixabay

Let’s face it, Arizona roads can get hot ‚Äď and not just from the scorching sun. Road rage incidents are a real concern for drivers, leaving many wondering: if things boil over, will my car insurance cover the damage? In this article,¬†Cheap Insurance¬†dives into the complexities of road rage and¬†car insurance in Arizona.

Key Takeaways:

  • Road rage involves aggressive driving behaviors that threaten safety, including yelling, tailgating, and reckless driving.
  • Arizona is a fault state, so your insurance might deny coverage or raise your auto insurance if your road rage outburst leads to an accident.
  • Arizona car insurance typically won’t cover damage you cause by your own road rage actions.
  • If you’re the victim of someone else’s road rage, your auto insurance and potentially UM/UIM insurance can help cover repairs and injuries.
  • Stay calm, deescalate, situations, and prioritize your safety during a road rage incident. Document the event and report it to your insurance company.

What Exactly is Considered a Road Rage Incident?

Road rage goes beyond simply feeling frustrated behind the wheel. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), it’s a series of aggressive driving behaviors that pose a threat to safety. This can include:

  • Verbal threats and gestures: Yelling, obscene gestures, or threatening language directed at another driver.
  • Intentional tailgating: Following too closely to intimidate the driver in front.
  • Reckless driving: Speeding, weaving through traffic, cutting off other drivers, or attempting to force another car off the road.
  • Physical violence: Getting out of your vehicle to confront another driver or throwing objects at their car.
 

It’s important to note that not all aggressive driving qualifies as road rage. A single instance of¬†speeding¬†or a heated exchange of words might not trigger insurance concerns. However, a pattern of aggressive behaviors that puts yourself or others at risk definitely falls under the road rage umbrella.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Can Your Driving Actions During Road Rage Affect Coverage?

Absolutely. Arizona is a at fault state, meaning the driver who caused the accident is financially responsible for damages. If your road rage outburst leads to an accident, your insurance company might deny coverage or after a claim, raise your insurance premiums depending on the severity of your actions.

Here’s how your behavior can impact coverage:

  • Initiating aggressive driving: If you start the aggressive behavior, your insurance company might deny coverage altogether.
  • Contributing to the incident: Even if you weren’t the sole instigator, if your actions contributed to the accident (e.g., retaliatory speeding), your¬†car insurance¬†might deny the claim.

Does Arizona Car Insurance Cover Damage Caused by Your Road Rage?

In most cases,¬†Arizona car insurance¬†won’t cover damage caused by your own road rage actions. This is because these policies typically exclude auto insurance coverage for intentional acts.

Here’s a breakdown of coverage types:

  • Liability insurance: This covers damage you cause to others’ property and injuries in an accident. However, it won’t cover damage to your own car caused by your road rage.
  • Collision insurance: This covers damage to your car caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. However, it excludes intentional damage, including that caused by your own road rage.
  • Comprehensive insurance: This covers damage to your car from non-collision events like theft, vandalism, or weather. Again, intentional damage wouldn’t be covered.
 

There might be a rare exception if you can prove your road rage outburst was caused by an uncontrollable medical condition. However, this would require significant documentation and legal expertise.

Will Insurance Cover Damage Caused by Someone Else’s Road Rage?

Thankfully, if you’re the victim of someone else’s road rage and they cause damage to your car, your¬†automobile insurance¬†cover your claim. Here’s what your coverage can offer:

  • Liability insurance of the at-fault driver: This should cover repairs to your car and any injuries you sustain. However, if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or their coverage is insufficient, things can get complicated.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM): This optional coverage protects you if the at-fault driver has no insurance or not enough to cover all the damages. It’s highly recommended in Arizona, where uninsured motorist rates are high.

What Steps Should You Take After a Road Rage Incident?

If you find yourself in a road rage situation, the most important thing is to stay calm and de-escalate the situation. Here’s what to do:

  • Don’t engage: Avoid eye contact, hand gestures, or shouting back.
  • Increase your distance: If possible, safely change lanes or pull over and let the other driver pass.
  • Call the police: If you feel threatened or the other driver becomes violent, don’t hesitate to call 911.
  • Document the incident: If it’s safe to do so, note down the license plate number, description of the vehicle, and the time and location of the incident. Take pictures of any damage to your car, if possible.
 

Report the incident to your¬†car insurance company: Even if there wasn’t any damage to your car and you suspect the other car might have had some damage, report the incident to your insurance company. This creates a record and protects you in case the other driver files a false claim.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Are There Ways to Reduce the Risk of Road Rage Encounters?

The best way to deal with road rage is to avoid it altogether. Here are some tips to minimize your risk:

  • Leave early and allow ample travel time: Rushing can lead to frustration and aggressive driving.
  • Practice patience: Don’t take other drivers’ actions personally.
  • Use common courtesy: Signal lane changes, avoid tailgating, and let others merge.
  • Minimize distractions: Put your phone away and focus on the road.
  • Use calming techniques: Listen to relaxing music or take deep breaths if you start to feel agitated.

Additional Tips

  • Consider adding a dashcam: Dashcam footage can be invaluable evidence in case of a road rage incident.
  • Stay informed: Familiarize yourself with Arizona’s road rage laws.
  • Seek help if needed: If you find yourself struggling with anger or road rage, consider anger management courses or stress-reduction techniques.

By understanding the limitations of your car insurance policy and taking steps to avoid road rage situations, you can navigate Arizona’s roads with greater peace of mind.