The Dangers of Aggressive Driving
Delays caused by traffic congestion, roadwork, or other issues are an unavoidable part of modern life. Unfortunately, some drivers allow their annoyance and frustration to affect their driving, resulting in dangerous, aggressive behaviors that can easily lead to serious accidents. Fortunately for people who are injured by aggressive drivers, a car accident lawyer can often help them recover compensation for their accident-related losses.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as “any combination of traffic offenses or general behaviors that endanger persons or property.” There are a wide variety of behaviors that can constitute aggressive driving, some of which may also qualify as traffic violations. Some of the most common forms of aggressive driving include the following:
- Following too closely
- Sudden lane changes and weaving in and out of traffic
- Gesturing or shouting at other drivers
- Blocking traffic
- Unnecessary honking
- Cutting other drivers off and then slowing down
- Blocking other drivers from passing
- Running red lights
- Improper turns
Aggressive Driving Puts Everyone on the Road at Risk
These and other examples of aggressive driving put everyone on the road at an increased risk of involvement in an accident. When aggressive driving causes collisions, it can result in serious injuries to everyone involved, not to mention significant damage to the vehicles involved. Some of the more serious injuries that people can sustain in wrecks caused by aggressive drivers include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Serious soft tissue injuries
In many cases, people who are injured in accidents caused by aggressive drivers are unable to work for months or even years, resulting in lost income and opportunity. In the most serious cases, victims will never be able to work again and may require around-the-clock care and assistance, resulting in a lifetime of economic and non-economic losses. For this reason, it is critical that anyone hurt in an accident caused by an aggressive driver protect their legal rights by retaining an experienced car accident lawyer to represent them as soon as possible.
Aggressive Driving is Bad for Your Health
While it may seem fairly clear that aggressive driving can cause serious accidents, it may come as a surprise that it can also have a negative impact on your health. A 2016 study linked aggressive driving with heart disease, anxiety and stress, and high blood pressure. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to avoid getting angry and frustrated behind the wheel, even if your actions do not lead directly to an injury-causing accident. Some of the things you can do to avoid aggressive driving include:
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination
- Do not engage with other drivers showing signs of aggression
- Practice defensive driving techniques
- If necessary, pull over so that you can calm down
Protecting Your Legal Rights after an Accident with an Aggressive Driver
In the event that you an aggressive driver causes an accident that results in damage to your vehicle, injuries, or both, there are certain steps that you should take to protect your legal rights. Here are 4 of the most important:
- Call the police. If they determine that the aggressive driver committed a traffic violation, it can make your claim go much more smoothly.
- Seek medical attention, even if you do think that your injuries are particularly serious. It’s critical to have an official medical records detailing your injuries in order to recover compensation.
- Do not discuss your case with the other driver’s insurance company. The things you say could be used against you to justify lowering your settlement offer.
- Contact a car accident lawyer as soon as you can.