Aggressive driving has become a serious issue, in which drivers willingly put their own safety and of others sharing the road in jeopardy. There have been repeated incidents of aggressive driving leading to traffic accidents, resulting in fatal injuries and even death. Over 11,000 people die every year from auto accidents caused by aggressive driving in the United States, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Moreover, the injuries and deaths from these crashes are costly as well, costing nearly $40 billion to the nation annually.
It is important to understand what is aggressive driving and what you can do to avoid it to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.
What is Aggressive Driving?
Aggressive driving can be described as a combination of traffic offenses that an individual commits resulting in a threat to another person’s life or property. Generally, it is caused by traffic congestions, irritation from extreme weather conditions, long commutes to work, and behaviors to other drivers. Moreover, an individual’s reactions, moods, and ability to manage stress while driving and off road can contribute to aggressive driving.
This type of dangerous driving involves actions or behaviors, such as:
- Speeding: Exceeding the posted speed limit for a particular area, or going over a safe speed in difficult road conditions, such as inclement weather, construction sites, and others. It also includes racing.
- Tailgating: Getting too close to the vehicle in front and making signals, like flashing or honking, to make them go faster or pressurize them to switch lanes to get out of the way.
- Road hogging: This practice refers to abruptly and frequently changing lanes by making close cuts in order to get ahead.
- Expressions exhibiting anger: This includes screaming, abusive hand gestures, and yelling at drivers and others sharing the road.
- Failure to obey traffic rules: This includes running red lights, speeding on the yellow light, not giving the right of way, and others.
Most people use the terms aggressive driving and road rage interchangeably. However, both are quite different. Acts and behaviors, such as flashing lights or honking in the middle of traffic or expressing anger using abusive language, come under aggressive driving, which only increase the chances of an accident and are not illegal to do. On the other hand, road rage refers to a criminal act where a driver makes an attempt to intentionally kill or injure another driver or passenger.
Ways to Handle Aggressive Drivers
- Avoid Getting Involved: If an aggressive driver is making rude gestures and abusive remarks, you need to ignore them, refrain from making an eye contact, and let them pass to avoid confrontation.
- Give way: If an aggressive driver is speeding up or tailgating or exhibiting signs to race, you need to put the temptation and your pride aside and let them pass to avoid increasing the chances of an accident.
- Call the Police: If the aggressive driver is being too rash, it is better to call the police and report them. By doing so, you may be able to save several lives.
Have you been injured by an aggressive driver in a car accident? You should make a personal injury claim and get the compensation you deserve for your damages. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation with our auto accident attorney.