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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Is It Illegal to Cut Someone Off While Driving in Iowa? | Potential Consequences to Consider

Driving in any state can be dangerous. No matter how safe a driver is, it's possible to experience road rage every once in a while. In some cases, that "road rage" can lead to dangerous maneuvers that could put other drivers at risk.

A common thing drivers do is cut someone off. Most people see that term in real life, movies, the news, and many other places. What does it mean, though?

In simple terms, it's a moving violation where a driver charges into another one's lane without considering how fast/slow they are going. This can often cause the other driver to hit their brakes abruptly, which can lead to a few consequences.

Is it illegal to cut someone off while driving in Iowa? The information below will cover everything to know about that.

What Happens When People "Cut Someone Off" on the Road?

What Happens When People "Cut Someone Off" on the Road?

There are many safe maneuvers for changing lanes, but cutting someone off isn't one of them.

Some drivers cut other cars off out of frustration; usually because the other vehicle is driving slowly. Other drivers, however, are more reckless than that, and they slam on their brakes as soon as they change lanes, causing the car behind to get in trouble.

A driver could also try to cut someone off in hopes of committing insurance fraud. These people try to cause minor accidents so that they can file a claim with the other driver's insurance company and say it was their fault.

"Technically," cutting someone off in Iowa is illegal if the driver's action makes another car hit the brakes suddenly or swerve, causing an accident. Cutting someone off doesn't always result in an accident, though, although the road rage experienced by the other drivers could lead to a confrontation.

Is Cutting Drivers Off Dangerous?

It's easy for an accident to happen when cutting someone off, especially if the driver is trying to make a left turn. Most of the time, the other vehicles won't notice the driver before it's too late.

Changing from one lane to another safely won't give anyone problems. It's always recommended to avoid cutting people off, especially if there's heavy traffic. The seconds the driver may earn from doing this aren't worth it.

Can Someone "Accidentally" Cut Another Driver Off?

Technically, it's possible, but the action will still be considered a breach of driving etiquette.

Some people accidentally cut someone off because they changed lanes without looking. This may be even more dangerous since the person won't know if there's another car going at a high speed in the other lane.

Telling the police that the driver "cut someone off on accident" won't take their responsibility off.

Here's a list of things drivers should consider when changing lanes:

- Drive under the speed limit.

- Use the turn signals before changing lanes.

- Make sure there's enough space in the other lane before changing.

- Don't text and drive.

- Don't react to reckless drivers.

What Should People Do If They Get Cut Off on the Road?

It's simple enough to control how to behave while driving, but what about other drivers? It's impossible to tell what other people will do while on the road, which could cause some problems.

Even if the other driver's action didn't cause an accident, the person who was driving safely may feel frustrated, leading to reckless driving.

In these cases, it's crucial to remain calm and stay safe. Otherwise, the driver may be held liable for the potential accident even if they weren't the ones cutting someone off.

There are three key things drivers can do if they get cut off while on the road:

  • Remain calm. It's also crucial to avoid honking excessively, as this can irritate the other driver and cause a conflict.

  • Slow down while considering the other cars around. Driving slowly can help the driver manage their anger safely.

  • File a police report if a crash happened.

If a driver gets into an accident because of someone else's negligence, they could file a car accident claim. They can start by getting the other person's license plate number and filing a police report. This will work as evidence when working with a lawyer to talk to the insurance company.

What if the driver was the one cutting other people off? If they caused a crash, they must pull over instead of driving away. Those who try to pretend nothing happened may get in even more trouble if they get caught later.

Admitting fault could lead to fewer legal consequences, as long as the accident was minor.

What to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim

What to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim

Those who get hit by another cat after being cut off may file a liability claim and get money to cover damages. However, a few factors may affect how much the victim earns:

  • If the at-fault party doesn't have insurance, the victim may get paid through their uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage policy, if they have one.

  • If the at-fault party has insurance, and the victim can prove it, they may get paid through the driver's liability insurance policy.

  • Iowa is an at-fault state, which means the driver must prove they weren't responsible for the accident if they want to get compensated.

  • If the driver has collision coverage, they may get money to pay for property damage regardless of who was at fault.

Sometimes, it can be hard to know what to do, especially if the victim is feeling frustrated or anxious. In these cases, it's a great idea to talk to a lawyer. They can also help with questions like is it illegal to drive with fog lights on in Iowa?

Bottom Line

It's never a good idea to cut people off, even if the driver is in a rush. These actions can lead to accidents that risk many people's lives.

All drivers in Des Moines, Iowa, should drive as safely as possible while staying calm. There's no need to react aggressively to reckless drivers.

Those who got involved in a crash because someone else cut them off may be entitled to compensation. The experts at Tom Fowler Law are committed to giving victims in Iowa the legal help they deserve during these tough times.

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