Often, people think about collisions and fault in terms of the people who are physically involved in the collision. Sometimes, though, someone who isn’t actually involved in a crash could be the person responsible for causing it.
This is particularly true in the case of someone cutting off another person’s vehicle in traffic. The person who merged over into a lane without looking or who merged into the lane before slamming their brakes on in front of another person could be responsible for any crashes that happen if their behavior was the cause.
Cutting others off in traffic could be a form of road rage
Sometimes, cutting others off in traffic is linked to behavioral issues on the road including road rage. For instance, if a driver is angry that another person is going too slowly, they may speed up to pass them, reenter the lane and then slam on their brakes. In those malicious cases, the person’s intention may be to get into a minor crash themselves to make a claim and hold the other person responsible (a kind of insurance fraud).
Road rage may also happen when the driver who cuts off another is doing so in response to being cut off themselves. In retaliation, they may cut off the driver who offended them, which could lead to a crash.
Should you stop if you accidentally cut someone off and they crash?
If you know that you cut someone off and caused a crash, you should stop even if you didn’t actually collide with them. Intentionally cutting off another person or challenging other drivers could be a form of reckless driving and may lead to a traffic citation. You could potentially be accused of leaving the scene of a crash, too. It’s better to call for help and to make sure the other drivers are taken care of.
If you’re cut off by another driver, make sure to write down their license plate number if they don’t stay at the scene. Even if they weren’t physically involved, they may be responsible for your accident and all personal injuries.