Aggressive driving is a serious problem that affects everyone on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding and aggressive driving were involved in 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2020. Aggressive driving can include:
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Cutting off other drivers
- Honking, flashing lights, or gesturing rudely
- Road rage
Aggressive driving accidents can cause severe injuries and deaths to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. In December 2021, a 7-year-old boy named Pronoy Bhattacharya was killed by a driver who ran a red light in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His parents and sister were also injured in the crash.
In this article, we will explain what causes aggressive driving, how to prevent it, and what to do if you are involved in an accident. We will also share some tips on how to deal with aggressive drivers and how to protect yourself as a pedestrian. Our goal is to help you stay safe and avoid becoming a victim of aggressive driving.
What Causes Aggressive Driving?
There are many factors that can contribute to aggressive driving behavior. Some of the most common ones are:
- Traffic congestion: Many drivers get frustrated and impatient when they encounter traffic jams or delays. They may respond by speeding, changing lanes frequently, or becoming angry at anyone who they perceive as slowing them down.
- Running late: Some drivers have too much to do and are running late for work, school, or other appointments. They may feel stressed and pressured to make up for lost time by driving faster or more recklessly.
- Anonymity: A motor vehicle can create a sense of detachment and isolation for the driver. They may feel less accountable for their actions and less empathetic towards others when they cannot be seen or identified by them.
- Disregard for others and the law: Some drivers have a habit of driving aggressively because they do not care about the safety or well-being of other road users. They may also have a low respect for the law and the rules of the road.
- Emotional factors: Some drivers may be influenced by their mood, personality, or mental health. They may be angry, depressed, anxious, or impulsive. They may also be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which can impair their judgment and reaction time.
How to Prevent Aggressive Driving?
The best way to prevent aggressive driving is to avoid it in the first place. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Plan ahead: Give yourself enough time to reach your destination without rushing. Check the traffic conditions before you leave and choose the best route. If you encounter unexpected delays, stay calm and adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Relax: Driving can be stressful, but you can reduce your stress by listening to soothing music, breathing deeply, or practicing mindfulness. You can also try some relaxation techniques before you get behind the wheel, such as stretching, meditating, or doing yoga.
- Be courteous: Treat other drivers with respect and kindness. Follow the rules of the road and signal your intentions clearly. Yield the right of way when appropriate and let others merge or pass when safe. Do not honk, flash lights, or gesture rudely at other drivers.
- Be aware: Pay attention to your surroundings and anticipate potential hazards. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and adjust your speed according to the road conditions. Avoid distractions such as texting, eating, or grooming while driving.
- Be responsible: Do not drive when you are tired, sick, or impaired by drugs or alcohol. If you feel unwell or emotional, ask someone else to drive or take public transportation. If you have a medical condition that affects your driving ability, consult your doctor and follow their advice.
What to Do If You Are Involved in an Aggressive Driving Accident?
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an aggressive driving accident, here are some steps you should take:
- Stay calm: Do not panic or retaliate against the aggressive driver. Try to move your vehicle out of the way of traffic if possible. Turn on your hazard lights and call 911 if anyone is injured or if there is significant damage to the vehicles. If no one is injured and the damage is minor, you may not need to call the police, but it is still a good idea to do so in case there is a dispute later.
- Exchange information: Get the name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance information of the other driver. Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident. Be polite but firm. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information as well.
- Document the crash: Take photos or videos of the scene, the damage to the vehicles, any injuries, and any relevant road signs or markings. Write down the date, time, location, weather, and traffic conditions of the accident. If possible, get a copy of the police report or the report number.
- Contact your insurer: As soon as possible after the accident, call your insurance company and report what happened. Give them all the information you have collected and cooperate with their investigation. Do not give any recorded statements or sign any documents without consulting your insurer or a lawyer first.
How to Deal with Aggressive Drivers?
If you encounter an aggressive driver on the road, do not engage with them or provoke them further. Here are some tips on how to deal with aggressive drivers:
- Stay calm: Do not take their actions personally or react emotionally. Keep your cool and focus on driving safely.
- Avoid eye contact: Do not look at them or make any gestures that could be seen as challenging or insulting. This could escalate the situation and make them more angry.
- Give them space: If they are tailgating you, change lanes or pull over when it is safe to do so and let them pass. If they are cutting you off or weaving in and out of traffic, slow down and keep a safe distance from them.
- Report them: If they are endangering other drivers or pedestrians, call 911 and report their license plate number, vehicle description, location, and direction of travel. Do not try to follow them or confront them yourself.
How to Protect Yourself as a Pedestrian?
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to aggressive driving accidents. According to the NHTSA, 6,205 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2019. To reduce your risk of being hit by an aggressive driver, follow these safety tips:
- Use crosswalks and sidewalks: Always cross the street at marked crosswalks or intersections where drivers can see you. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far away from the road as possible.
- Follow traffic signals and signs: Obey the pedestrian signals and look both ways before crossing. Do not assume that drivers will stop for you or yield the right of way. Be alert and ready to stop or move out of the way if necessary.
- Be visible: Wear bright or reflective clothing at night or in low-light conditions. Carry a flashlight or use your phone’s flashlight feature if you need to. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Avoid distractions: Do not use your phone, headphones, or other devices while walking near traffic. Pay attention to your surroundings and watch out for potential hazards.
- Be sober: Do not walk while impaired by drugs or alcohol. They can affect your judgment, coordination, and reaction time.
How to Find a Good Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been wounded or lost a loved one as a result of aggressive driving, you may require the assistance of a qualified automobile accident lawyer to obtain compensation for your losses. A good car accident lawyer can:
- Investigate the accident and gather evidence to prove liability and damages
- Negotiate with the insurance company or the other party on your behalf
- File a lawsuit and represent you in court if necessary
- Advise you on your legal rights and options
- Protect your interests and fight for the best possible outcome for your case
But how do you find a good car accident lawyer?
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Ask for referrals from friends or family members who have used a car accident lawyer. This is one of the best ways to find a reputable attorney with experience handling cases like yours.
- Do some research online. Look for lawyers who specialize in car accidents and aggressive driving cases. Check their websites, reviews, ratings, testimonials, and awards. You can also use online directories or platforms like LegalZoom.com or Lawzana.com to find lawyers near you.
- Schedule a consultation with several lawyers before making your final decision. Most car accident lawyers offer free initial consultations where you can discuss your case and ask questions. Use this opportunity to evaluate their skills, experience, personality, communication style, and fees. Choose a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable and confident.
- Make sure you’re comfortable with your chosen lawyer before proceeding with the case. You will be working closely with your lawyer throughout the process, so you want to make sure you trust them and can communicate well with them. You also want to make sure they are available, responsive, and transparent with you.
Finding a good car accident lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. A good lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve and hold the aggressive driver accountable for their actions. If you need help finding a good car accident lawyer, contact us today for a free consultation. We can help you find the best lawyer for your case and guide you through the legal process.
Aggressive driving accidents are preventable and avoidable. By following these tips, you can reduce your chances of being involved in one or minimize the impact if you are. Remember to stay calm, be courteous, be aware, be responsible, and be safe on the road.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an aggressive driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. To protect your rights and interests, you should consult an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you file a claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.