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What Is “Cutting Someone Off” While Driving?

  • Safety Tips
  • Renee Martin
  • 5 minutes

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We’ve heard people grumble about the jerk who ‘cut them off’ while driving. But what exactly are they grumbling about? What is cutting someone off while driving? Here’s what it means and why it’s not a good thing to do.

Have you been hearing people saying they’ve been cut off by someone? Do you wonder what on earth they’re talking about? Don’t worry; you’ve got plenty of company. Quite a lot of people don’t know what ‘cutting someone off while driving’ means. So here we go.

What does it mean to cut someone off while driving?

Cutting someone off is what happens when you change into someone’s lane without taking their speed into account, causing them to hit their brakes suddenly.

The phrase “cutting someone off” refers to a more general violation of proper driving etiquette. It usually happens when someone is switching lanes. This breach of basic driving etiquette can happen on freeways and city/town streets.

Cutting someone off can lead to an accident. And if it does, you could be in trouble.

Why is cutting someone while driving considered reckless?

When you merge into traffic, it is your responsibility to make sure to do it safely and in a way that does not put yourself or anyone else in danger. If a crash happens because you switched lanes without looking or switched lanes before slamming on your brakes in front of someone else, you could be held responsible.

Why do some people cut others off in traffic

Cutting people off in traffic can lead to bad behavior on the road, like road rage. An irritated motorist, for instance, might speed up to pass a slower vehicle, then slam on the brakes upon reentering the lane. Some people may purposely cause minor accidents so that they may file a claim and place blame on another driver (a kind of insurance fraud).

Road rage can occur when someone who cuts off another car is angry about getting cut off themself. They may retaliate by cutting off the offending motorist, which increases the risk of an accident.

What should I do if someone cuts me off in traffic?

It is more important to know what you mustn’t do if someone cuts you off. Yes, we know it’s frustrating, but here’s how you should handle it.

  • Don’t lose your cool and blow your horn constantly.
  • Don’t do anything risky; slow down and watch for cars behind you.

If there’s a collision, you must notify the police and the other driver’s insurance company.

If the other driver hits your car in the process of cutting you off, several factors come into play when it comes to auto insurance.

  • If the other driver hit your car and caused the damage, their liability insurance would pay for the damage and any injuries they caused.
  • If the other driver does not have insurance, you may be covered if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or UM/UIM.
  • In at-fault states, you will need to prove that you are not at fault to claim insurance.
  • You could also file a claim with your own insurance if you have collision coverage, which will pay for damage caused by accident no matter who was at fault.

Make sure your insurance coverage is up to date. If it’s not, or you feel you’re overpaying for insurance, get free quotes from all the leading insurance providers on Way.com. Once you figure out the coverage you need, we’ll get you set up with our policy in a matter of minutes.

What should you do if you accidentally cut someone off while driving?

Even if you didn’t make actual contact with the other car, you should stop if you realize you’ve caused an accident by cutting someone off. Reckless driving includes intentionally cutting off another driver or challenging other drivers. Possible charges include fleeing the scene of an accident. It’s best to get help and see that the other drivers are okay.

If another driver cuts you off and doesn’t stop, jot down their license plate number. They may be legally accountable for your accident and any resulting injuries, even if they were not directly engaged.

When it comes to insurance

  • Your liability coverage will cover the cost of the other driver’s injuries and medical bills, if any. It also covers any damage to their vehicle.

Many drivers have reported their insurance premiums going up after a collision. In case that happens, Way.com can help you find auto insurance coverage that’s just right for you.

Sign up for Way+ services if you want the best all-around auto subscription service.

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