Aggressive driving has a significant impact on traffic accidents on U.S. roadways. It is a factor in numerous deadly highway collisions every year. General definitions of aggressive driving can include the way a person drives and their interactions with other drivers that are meant to intimidate or cause harm. Road rage is another term used to describe physical or verbal violence behind the wheel.
It is sometimes difficult to quantify aggressive driving. However, a 2009 study by the American Automobile Association identified certain behaviors associated with aggressive driving. 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 offense. Additional contributing factors that fall into this category 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.
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. Aggressive driving repeat offenders could lose their license or serve jail time. They may also be fined or required to take anger management classes.
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Agency surveyed motorists about driving behaviors. Almost 64 percent of drivers had encountered acts of aggressive driving by other drivers at least six times within three months of the survey. During the same three-month period, 44 percent of drivers confessed to engaging in aggressive driving behaviors themselves.
Obeying the rules of the road can help you avoid conflict with aggressive drivers.
Staying calm and being courteous behind the wheel lowers your risk of an unpleasant encounter with another driver or 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 attention.
Speak to a Colorado Springs Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident, it is important to speak to an experienced and skilled Colorado Springs personal injury attorney immediately. Our lawyers have the resources and knowledge to fight complex car accident cases – and win. Contact the experienced Colorado Springs car accident attorneys at the Green Law Firm today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and discuss your case. Call us today at 1-719-694-8515.