Car Accidents: Types of Aggressive Driving
We have all been driving along with suddenly, a driver seems to come out of nowhere cutting us off, braking suddenly, and weaving in and out of traffic. Aggressive drivers may even tailgate drivers they feel aren’t driving fast enough. In some cases, this aggressive driving behavior happens at high speeds on the freeway; in other cases, it happens at low speeds in heavy city traffic. Either way, this dangerous driving behavior puts other drivers and pedestrians in danger and increases the risk for car accidents.
If you or a family member was injured as a result of an aggressive driver, contact a local car accident lawyer as soon as possible. You are entitled to a full and fair settlement for your losses and injuries.
What is aggressive driving?
Aggressive driving, sometimes referred to as road rage or reckless driving, is defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “the combination of moving traffic offenses that endangers the lives of person or property.” The NHTSA also found that aggressive driving behaviors played a role in about 56 percent of fatal crashes in a five-year review of their Fatal Accident Report database.
According to policyadvice.net, road rage fatality statistics tell us that an estimated 110,000 people die in accidents caused by aggressive driving every four years. This works out to almost 30,000 people per year.
Different Kinds of “aggressive driving”
Here are some common types of aggressive driving behaviors that can contribute to the risk of car accidents:
- Erratic driving such as weaving in and out of traffic
- Honking the horn excessively
- Illegal passing
- Failure to use turn signals
- Slamming the brakes excessively
- Tailgating or following improperly
- Ignoring traffic signs or signals
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Excessive speeding or racing
- Failure to obey the rules in safety zones
- Brake checking
- Excessive horn use
- Flashing headlights or high beams
- Cutting other drivers off
- Aggressive body language such as flipping someone the bird
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Blocking other cars trying to pass or change lanes
- Driving on the shoulder, sidewalk, or median of the road
Why do people drive aggressively?
There are many reasons that drivers choose to drive aggressively. Often, aggressive driving occurs when someone is stressed or angry or is simply frustrated by heavy traffic over a long period of time or day after day. Some people are simply not good at holding big emotions in and end up acting out in various ways, such as aggressive driving behaviors.
How to respond to an aggressive driver
The best thing to do is to ignore and get as far away as possible from an aggressive driver. If you find yourself being tailgated, for example, move to a different lane or pull off the road to let the aggressive driver pass you. It simply isn’t worth the risk to your safety to engage with an aggressive or reckless driver.
Here are some strategies that you can use to keep yourself safe when confronted by aggressive driving behaviors:
- Never scream or make aggressive body gestures
- Keep a safe distance (if possible, let them pass you or pull over or get off the road to get away from them)
- Do not start speeding to get away from them
- Do not antagonize a tailgater by slowing down below the speed limit
- Avoid eye contact
- Call 911 if you see an aggressive driver that you believe is endangering others
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!