AAA defines aggressive driving as “any unsafe driving behavior, performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety.” It should come as no surprise that driving without regard for safety leads to accidents.
In this blog, we’ll explore some of the most common aggressive driving behaviors and how exactly they lead to car accidents.
Speeding killed 9,378 people in 2018 alone. Speed limits exist for a reason, and breaking the speed limit or going too fast for conditions means:
- You have less control of your vehicle
- You have less time and space to prevent an accident
- Your vehicle’s safety features are less effective
- Any crashes or injuries you suffer will be more severe
- You will be financially and legally responsible for any accident you cause
- You will spend more money on gas
Many people speed because they are running low on time or patience, but a late arrival is much better than a car accident, and patience can save your life – and the lives of those around you.
Always drive the speed limit and adjust your speed to account for road conditions, including weather and traffic.
Leaving space between your car and the vehicle in front of you gives you the time you need to stop in case of emergency. If you are tailgating someone, you may not be able to stop in time for a traffic jam, an animal that runs across the road, or any other reason.
Tailgating is a leading cause of rear-end accidents and underride truck crashes.
IMPROPER LANE CHANGES
Before you change lanes, you should always make sure that you have enough space, check your blind spot, and use your turn signal. If you weave in and out of traffic, change lanes without signaling, or purposely cut another driver off, you are creating a dangerous situation for every driver on the road.
You might not see a motorcyclist in one of the lanes or pull in front of a driver who is momentarily distracted. Further, traffic patterns can change at any time, so you could easily clip or sideswipe another vehicle if you do not time your lane change perfectly.
If you need to change lanes, signal, double-check that the coast is clear, and complete your maneuver safely. Only pass when it is safe to do so and stay in the same lane if you do not need to pass anyone or make a turn anytime soon.
If you see another driver who needs to change lanes, don’t block them in. Instead, make room and let the other driver pass.
Sometimes, you may find someone else’s behavior frustrating. Resist the urge to “punish” that person with your brakes, high beams, horn, or hand signals. Reacting to a distracted driver takes your focus off the road and puts you at risk of altercations and crashes. Aggressive driving can escalate to road rage, which is criminal activity. In some cases, people who become upset on the road follow other drivers to their homes and use weapons to make their point.
If you notice an aggressive driver on the road, never respond to aggression with aggression. Don’t make eye contact, and give the angry driver plenty of space. If a driver wants to pass you, let them. If a driver is tailgating you, pull over when it is safe to do so and let them in front of you.
If you feel like a driver is following you, call 911 or drive to a police station, hospital, or fire station to ask for help. Stay in your locked car and make sure you have room to pull out safely if someone approaches you. Use your cell phone to call for help or use your horn to attract attention and assistance.
WHAT IF AN AGGRESSIVE DRIVER HARMS ME?
People who drive aggressively often cause accidents. If someone hits you while driving aggressively, stay calm and handle the accident as you would any other car crash.
Remember to call 911 if anyone in the accident is injured, gather evidence while you wait, be honest with responding officers, and ask for a copy of the police report. After serious auto accidents or injuries, it is always a good idea to contact an attorney.
Our team at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC is dedicated to helping people like you get the compensation you deserve.
Call us at 918-492-7674 or contact us online for a free consultation.