The answer to this question is interesting.

On one hand, flying the bird is an easy way to show people that you're not happy with them. The other hand says, with great power, comes great responsibility and not handling that responsibility properly or with a level head, could land you in hot water.

If you're driving and someone cuts you off, there are a couple things you could do to show your displeasure.

  1. Honk the horn - A quick  beep of your horn is probably good enough to let them know you're there.
  2. Yell out the window -Assuming your window is down and you're able to pay attention to the road, this may get your point across
  3. Tailgate - Not a good idea. A quick brake check could cause you to rear end the car and put you at fault of an accident and possibly hurt someone.
  4. Flip them off - Could quickly ignite the situation that probably shouldn't have been that escalated and again could cause injury or accident.

If you choose the option of flipping someone off, could you be breaking the law?

Technically, using the middle finger is a source of 'freedom of speech' and isn't breaking any laws.

The problem is, that one finger could spark something that could put you behind bars or at least get a ticket and fined.

You're now wondering how that is even possible, right?

Ever heard of road rage?

Yep, your one finger salute could be used to charge you with careless driving or even reckless driving.

Listen, I'm no lawyer and my advice doesn't hold water in court, but I found some information online that kind of backs it up.

According to,

  • reckless driving is a misdemeanor with a fine and possible 6 months in jail.
  • careless driving also a misdemeanor, but usually is less severe than reckless driving. If you're a repeat offender, the penalty gets worse.
    • 1st offense - up to 20 days in jail &/or fines up to $200
    • 2nd offense - up to 30 days in jail &/or fines up to $300
    • 3rd offense or more within a year - up to 6 months in jail &/or up to $500

Also, while were on the subject of the flipping people off.

There have been court cases all over the country that have ruled that people whom have flipped off police officers aren't breaking rules, only using their 1st amendment rights.

By no means is it a good idea to flip off a police officer and even though it's protected by the 1st amendment, it could be considered disorderly conduct and could still land you in the clink.

To recap, using the finger to show your frustration isn't a crime...but, if you stir the hornets nest because of your actions, it could land in the clink with fines or with a black eye from the person you flipped off.

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