If you or a loved one have been injured due to the actions of a hostile driver or a motorist exhibiting road rage, contact a Colorado Springs aggressive driving accident attorney at the Green Law Firm, P.C. for experienced help today.
Aggressive Driving Accidents
Aggressive driving has a significant impact on traffic accidents on U.S. roadways, and is a factor in numerous deadly highway collisions every year.
General definitions of aggressive driving can include not only the way a person drives, but also any interactions with other drivers that are meant to intimidate or cause harm.
Road rage is another common term many of us are familiar with, used to describe any acts of physical or verbal violence when behind the wheel, that may be particularly aggressive or confrontational.
What is Aggressive Driving Exactly?
It is sometimes difficult to quantify what exactly is considered aggressive driving. However, according to a 2019 study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, it is so common that 80% of drivers admitted having exhibited aggressive behaviors over the last 30 days.
In another study, the AAA determined that aggressive driving was a factor in 56% of traffic fatalities between 2003 and 2007- with excessive speed being the most common aggressive driving offense.
Additional other behaviors that are frequently associated with aggressive driving accidents and road rage, named by the AAA include:
- Following too closely or improperly,
- Erratic or improper lane changing,
- Driving illegally on the shoulder, ditch, sidewalk, or median,
- Passing in prohibited areas,
- Failing to yield,
- Executing improper turns or failing to signal a turn,
- Disregarding warning signs or instructions on vehicles displaying them,
- Failing to observe traffic signs, traffic control devices, and traffic officers,
- Racing, or
- Repeatedly flashing headlights or honking the horn.
The penalties for this type of driving behavior are often more serious than many realize. Aggressive driving repeat offenders can face a loss of their license or even serve jail time. They may also be fined or required to take anger management classes.
When an aggressive driver disregards the rules of the road and causes an accident that results in property damage, personal injury, or death, they can and should be held accountable. It’s important to contact an experienced aggressive driving accident attorney as soon as possible, in order to learn about what your legal options are.
How Common is Aggressive Driving?
A study released by The Zebra found that aggressive driving and road rage is a disturbingly common problem. According to their study eight out of every 10 drivers admitted to exhibiting aggressive driving behaviors, and 90% of all drivers reportedly said they witnessed other drivers behaving aggressively.
Other disturbing findings from their study include:
- 59% of drivers reported honking in an angry or frustrated way,
- 45% of drivers reported changing lanes without properly signaling their intentions,
- 42% of drivers reported cursing or yelling at another driver or a pedestrian,
- 38% of drivers reported making obscene gestures at other drivers or pedestrians,
- 33% of drivers admitted to speeding while in heavy traffic,
- and 46% of drivers reported having kept a weapon in their vehicle for personal protection.
Obeying the Rules of the Road can Help You Avoid a Conflict
Staying calm and being courteous when behind the wheel, lowers your risk of an unpleasant encounter with another driver or with law enforcement. To avoid conflict, adhere to the following rules of the road:
- Maintain a safe following distance,
- Use turn signals,
- Allow others to merge,
- Use high-beams responsibly,
- Tap your horn when necessary, but don’t use long blasts, and
- Be considerate in parking lots.
If you encounter an aggressive driver, avoid eye contact and don’t respond with aggression. If you feel threatened, drive to a public place such as a police or fire station, or call 911. And if you are confronted, remain in your car, but use your horn to get the attention of those around you.