The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says aggressive driving has occurred when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offences so as to endanger other persons or property.” Moving traffic offenses are driving offenses committed while a vehicle is moving. Racing, hit-and-run, and failure to yield the right-of-way are all examples of moving traffic offenses in Washington State. Aggressive driving increases the risk of car accidents because it leads to behaviors that don’t take the safety of others on the road into consideration.
If you or a loved one was injured because of an aggressive driver, you can seek compensation for your injuries through a personal injury claim. Contact an experienced, local car accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
Why Aggressive Driving Increases the Risk of Car Accidents
Aggressive drivers tend to engage in reckless driving behaviors that can put the lives of other drivers and pedestrians in danger. Some of the more common reckless driving behaviors associated with aggressive driving are:
- Not yielding right-of-way
- Running a stop sign or a red light
All of these driving behaviors increase the risk of traffic accidents because other drivers are not expecting another driver to behave in this way.
What causes aggressive driving?
The main cause of aggressive driving is frustration and impatience over traffic or irritation with another driver on the road. In fact, a report by AAA revealed that almost 80 percent of drivers in the U.S. have confessed to being angry with other people while driving, and in some cases, have allowed that anger to elevate into incidents of aggression or road rage. It may or may not come as a surprise to you that men are three times more likely to display aggressive driving behaviors than women.
The problem is that aggressive driving puts other people’s lives in danger. While there is no law against road rage in Washington State, there are laws to address aggressive driving behaviors like speeding or tailgating.
Signs of an aggressive driver
If you’re on the road and encounter any of the following signs, you may be dealing with an aggressive driver:
- Excessive honking
- Weaving in and out of traffic erratically
- Blocking other cars from changing lanes
- Pulling out in front of other cars
- Yelling, swearing, or displaying aggressive hand gestures
- Trying to get another driver to pull over so they can fight
What to do if you encounter an aggressive driver
The best way to protect yourself and your family from getting into an accident with an aggressive driver is to watch for warning signs and move away as quickly as possible. It’s also important NEVER to engage with the aggressive driver. Do not respond to name calling or hand gestures and do not engage in street racing. Simply change lanes or pull over if you are being tailgated.
If you are being followed by another driver, call law enforcement for help and do not pull over or go home until help arrives.
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!