Aggressive Driving Accidents
The average midsize sedan weighs 3,300 pounds and when used aggressively, drastically increases the risk-factors of an automotive crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding caused 9,378 traffic accident deaths in the year 2018. Almost half of those involved in fatal speeding accidents were not wearing their safety belts and one out of every three fatal accidents amongst male drivers between the ages of 15-20 involved speeding. Speeding happens with most drivers, but what happens when speeding is a pattern accompanied by more aggressive driving behaviors?
Six out of every ten drivers admit to driving over the speed limit, and 62% of drivers stated that they have been frustrated behind the wheel. 4 out of every 10 drivers claim they have been angered on the road and 2 out of 10 drivers have committed acts of road rage. About one-third of all drivers can be characterized as aggressive drivers.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles defines aggressive driving as the following behaviors:
- Following too closely
- Frequent or quick lane changes without signaling
- Passing on the shoulder or unpaved parts of the roadway
- Being a nuisance to motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians, who don’t get out of the way
- Running stop signs and red lights
- Passing stopped school buses
- Failing to keep right
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Driving recklessly
- Intentionally attempting to cause damage to another driver
If you believe that you are the victim of an aggressive driving incident, then it’s important to speak with will an adept attorney who can assist you in litigating your claim. Aggressive driving is common and leads to accidents every day.
Common Aggressive Driving Behaviors
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study in 2014 that found the following behaviors were some of the most common forms of aggressive driving:
- Purposefully tailgating: 51% (104 million drivers)
- Yelling at other drivers: 47% (95 million drivers)
- Honking to demonstrate anger: 45% (91 million drivers)
- Making gestures angrily: 33% (67 million drivers)
- Blocking another vehicle from switching lanes: 24% (49 million drivers)
- Purposefully cutting off other vehicles: 12% (24 million drivers)
- Leaving your vehicle to confront another vehicle: 4% (8 million drivers)
- Ramming or colliding with another vehicle intentionally: 3% (6 million drivers)
If you’ve been a victim of any of the before mentioned aggressive driving behaviors, then you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Speak with an attorney today about the rights afforded to you.
How to Avoid Aggressive Driving Conflicts
Aggressive drivers could see an act of retaliatory aggression as a challenge and escalate into a rage. The following behaviors, outlined by the New York DMV, can help you to avoid an aggressive driving incident:
- Avoid making eye contact
- Remain calm and relaxed
- Move away safely as soon as you can
- Avoid challenging them with more speed or aggressive maneuvers
- Wear safety belts
- Do not exchange angry gestures and yelling
- Call the police and give the vehicle’s description, license plate, traveling direction, and location
- If you’re being followed, drive to the nearest police station
- If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash, maintain a safe distance, and inform the police of what you saw when they arrive
Aggressive driving is a dangerous habit and varies among different age groups. These behaviors can be avoided, however, if you become the victim of an aggressive driver, a knowledgable attorney could help you to recover the damages you face as a result of your accident.