Aggressive Driving

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According to the Insurance Information Institute, signs of aggressive driving are prevalent in more than 50% of accidents. The term “aggressive driving” is difficult to define and quantify. However, the American Automobile Association (AAA) has identified certain behaviors that can be attributed to driving aggressively. Additionally, evidence suggests that instances of aggressive driving are on the rise. In fact, 51% of drivers admit that they have aggressively tailgated another driver while angry in the past year. Learning more about these dangers can help to keep yourself as well as the roads safer. If you have been injured in an accident due to an aggressive driver, contact the attorneys at Timothy J Ryan & Associates to schedule your free consultation today.

What is Aggressive Driving?

Aggressive Driving

Understanding the nexus of aggressive driving behaviors may be just as important as recognizing what aggressive driving is. However, there is not one consensus. Drivers can exhibit characteristics of aggressive driving for a multitude of reasons. Some psychologists surmise that it is due to the mixture of anonymity and power. Traffic engineers point to speed limits and flow. No matter the reason for aggressive driving, the outcome can often be dangerous and in some instances, deadly.

Aggressive driving can be defined as, deliberately driving a vehicle in an unsafe manner with a general disregard for the safety of others and/or with ill intentions. Some examples of unsafe driving can include:

  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Aggressively switching lanes without the use of a signal
  • Running stop signs or red lights
  • Following too closely (tailgating)
  • Flashing bright lights or improperly braking as a “punishment” to other drivers
  • Refusal to follow posted instructions and/or warnings
  • “Street racing”
  • Speeding in inclement weather, constructions zones and/or school zones

It is important to understand that not all of the aforementioned are always considered to be aggressive driving. Each infraction must be determined on a case by case basis. If you notice another driver exhibiting characteristics of aggressive driving and/o road rage, it is recommended that you immediately get off the road and alert the authorities.   

Signs of Road Rage

Each year, more than 95 million drivers admit to yelling aggressively at another driver. Another 8 million says that they have actually gotten out of their car and confronted another driver. Aggressive driving does not always equate to this type of road rage. Instances of road rage are rare, but they can lead to dangerous outcomes. According to AAA, road rage can consist of using foul language and/or obscene gestures, using your car as a weapon and hitting another person or object, pushing another driver off the road as well as throwing objects at others. Road rage can occur for a litany of reasons. If you come across another driver that is showing the signs of road rage, it is best that you get off the road and to a safe place. Do not engage with them under any circumstances.  

How to Prevent Aggressive Driving

The prevention of aggressive driving starts with yourself. Before you get into your vehicle it is important for you to be as calm as possible. Additionally, follow the posted road rules. No matter the infractions that you witness, do not take them personally and allow your emotions to negatively affect your decision making. This means that you should be courteous to other drivers. Let people over. Also, use your horn and high beam lights judiciously. If another driver is attempting to confront you, do not make eye contact and do not react aggressively. If they follow you, ensure that you drive to a police station, hospital or another area that law enforcement is known to frequent. While driving, remember to not purposely offend other drivers. Try your best to forgive others and practice tolerance. Lastly, do not offer other enraged drivers a response, unless it is one of courtesy. Following these steps can help to make the roadways safer for everyone.

What to do if You Get into An Accident

If you get into an accident due to another person aggressively driving, there are a few steps that you can take. First, ensure that you as well as all others involved in the accident are safe and do not require immediate medical attention. Once in a safe location, exchange insurance, and contact information. Take plenty of pictures. Offer law enforcement officials the facts, but never admit fault. Even if you believe that you are at fault. Lastly, ensure that you call a reputable personal injury attorney if you have sustained any injuries. Personal injury cases have a two-year statute of limitations. Additionally, the longer that you wait, the more of a financial hardship and overall burden your injuries can cause.

How to Find A Reputable Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident due to an aggressive driver, it is important that you work with a successful and experienced personal injury attorney. Personal injury cases can be difficult to determine without the expertise of a reputable attorney. When deciding on which personal injury attorney to work with, it is imperative that you consider their trial experience. Insurance companies can be more willing to go to court against an attorney that isn’t experienced in the courtroom. Furthermore, ensure that your potential attorney has experience with your specific type of personal injury case. Referrals are a great place to start. However, if you do not have any friends or family that can offer a recommendation, it’s important to research ratings and reviews. Also, gauge your attorney’s willingness to go the extra mile and understand your case and needs. Accidents due to aggressive driving can ruin your health and cause an unbearable financial strain. If you have been a victim, give the attorneys at Timothy J Ryan & Associates a call today.

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