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Road rage viral video alarms insurers

By Doug Whiteman ·
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Posted: 5 pm ET

Have you seen the YouTube road rage video that was recently all the rage on the Internet and TV news channels?

You may find it very entertaining. Your car insurance company, probably not so much.

Woman records tailgater

The Florida Highway Patrol says a motorist whipped out her cellphone and recorded the video over her shoulder while she was being tailgated in the left lane of a highway near Tampa, Fla.

The man in the pickup truck following behind the woman is eventually seen pulling up alongside, flashing an obscene gesture,  moving his truck in front -- and then losing control of his vehicle, spinning out and crashing off the left side of the road as hubcaps go flying.

"Ha, ha, ha! That's what you get!" the woman cackles as she drives by the wreckage, still recording with her phone.

Insurers wouldn't be amused

Funny? Not really, says Loretta Worters, a vice president with the New York-based trade group the Insurance Information Institute.

"Insurance companies would find this video very alarming, on so many fronts," she says.

The driver of the pickup truck may be penalized by his insurance company the next time his premium is due. A news release from the Highway Patrol says charges against the man include careless driving -- a violation which can raise the cost of your car insurance by an average 27 percent, according to a recent study by, a Bankrate-owned website.

(Other moving violations can bring even stiffer increases, the study found. For example, one conviction for driving under the influence will boost your auto rate by 93 percent, on average.)

No good-driver awards

The pickup driver was driving erratically, endangering the lives of other drivers as well as any pedestrians who may have been walking in the area, says Worters.

Insurance companies wouldn't be impressed with the other motorist's behavior either, she says. For starters, the woman shouldn't have been recording video while she was driving.

"She was giving the guy incentive to be more aggressive," Worters says, adding that the woman was lucky to avoid charges which could drive up her own car insurance rate.

What do you think? Is this video cool -- or a cautionary tale?

Want to learn more about the connection between your driving record and your insurance? Read 5 traffic tickets costliest for car insurance.

Follow me on Twitter: @dougwhiteman.

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April 04, 2014 at 10:12 am

if police done job it would be good ,trying to get them to do this 14 yrs in my naborhood

April 04, 2014 at 10:09 am

how about police doing their job

April 04, 2014 at 10:04 am

Maybe we should put up signs "Idiots and aggressive drivers LEFT lane only" because the "slower drivers keep right" signs are not working.

April 04, 2014 at 9:11 am

No excuse for the road rage idiot. But the woman was obviously baiting him and also driving dangerously. Good way to get yourself in some real trouble with some mentally deranged idiot. Used to be the law was that you are required to yield to traffic overtaking you from the rear. In my experience young female drivers are in the majority of ignorance of that courtesy. Especially driving to Florida on Spring break.

April 04, 2014 at 8:59 am

She may have been guilty of distracted driving by making a video but all-in-all she did a public service. Perhaps some drivers who are prone to such rages will be inspired by this to take it easier - if so, who knows what injury's might be avoided in the future that more than compensate for her few moments of distracted driving?
"Commonsense" or Keith: with that attitude I wouldn't be surprised if you are one day the subject of a similar video. Get a clue! Your impatience is not worth risking others lives. Wherever your going isn't important enough to risk others safety. If you are often going too fast because you are always on the verge of being late, then start your trip earlier. THATS Common sense!

April 04, 2014 at 8:09 am

Keith, She was going the speed limit in the left lane. Left lane doesn't mean you can go fast.

April 04, 2014 at 7:40 am

What was she doing driving in the left lane??????
That was the ROOT CAUSE of the entire situation.
Sounds like she was TRYING the best she could to CAUSE the situation - especially confirmed by the fact she was ready to record the EFFECT of her actions.
I've observed that MORE bad situations are CAUSED by people driving in the left lane than any other habit.
(Look at the Autobahn, one of the SAFEST highways in the world because people do NOT clog the left lane - good lesson for American politicians and peace officers)

April 04, 2014 at 7:36 am

Both drivers in this case are idiots. How many people a day do you witness doing dangerous things behind the wheel? People will drive aggressively, period. And if you antagonize other drivers the way she did, you are now simply giving those drivers another reason to risk a major accident.

It is NOT YOUR JOB to police the actions of the drivers around you. Put the iPhone down, concentrate on the road, be the bigger person, and stop putting money into the insurance company's pocket.

April 04, 2014 at 7:31 am

Another writer trying to justify insurance company's jacking up rates. Any reason they can find to steal more money from us.

April 04, 2014 at 7:28 am

This is called 'Bait-n-Switch'.
The story promises a video and when someone tries to view the video it's not there, but a rate comparison chart is. Typical low ball move by insurance companies.