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Can road rage lead to traffic citations?

Daily driving stress, such as being late for a work meeting or getting caught in traffic, can contribute to feelings of anger and frustration, but what happens when you take those emotions out on other drivers? Incidents of road rage are on the rise, and a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that nearly 80% of motorists have engaged in aggressive actions behind the wheel.

Not only can road rage lead to accidents and personal injuries, but it might also earn you costly traffic citations you may not expect.

Reckless driving

Road rage can include a variety of aggressive actions, including unsafe lane changes in an attempt to get around a slower driver. Law enforcement officials can ticket you for reckless or unsafe driving if they observe you operating a motor vehicle in a way that could cause an accident.

Unlawful use of a car horn

Your car’s horn is there to alert other drivers if they seem unaware of your presence or to warn them if you happen to enter their blind spot. However, weaponizing your horn can lead to a traffic ticket. While it is a lesser-known charge, the unlawful use of your car’s horn, such as “leaning” or giving a prolonged honk to provoke another driver, can cost you a hefty fine.


Encountering drivers who travel under the speed limit is a frustrating situation, but accelerating and following them too closely could net you a tailgating citation. Tailgating may also result in a rear-end collision if the driver ahead of you stops suddenly, which can cause neck and spinal injuries to both drivers and passengers.

Shouting at other drivers and making obscene gestures out of anger are common instances of road rage. Keeping your temper and remaining courteous on the road can help you avoid traffic tickets or a serious accident.