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July 27, 2015

Aggressive Drivers Can Be Extremely Dangerous


Driving or riding in a motor vehicle comes with an inherent risk of accidents and injuries. These risks significantly increase, however, when other drivers on the road act in an irresponsible manner. While some drivers simply make a mistake, others may purposefully decide to drive in a dangerous manner. If an intentionally dangerous driver causes an accident, all injured victims have the right to recover for their losses from that driver.

Aggressive driving behaviors

All drivers may become impatient at some point. Traffic, stop lights, and slow drivers can always be frustrating, especially if you are in a hurry or running late. However, it is highly important to not let your impatience and frustration lead to dangerous or even threatening driving behaviors. Even if you remain calm, though, there is still a chance that other aggressive drivers will cause an accident.

Aggressive driving[1] behaviors include the following:

  • Expressing anger and frustration – Aggressive drivers often yell at other drivers, make offensive or threatening gestures, excessively honk their horns or flash their lights, all of which can be dangerously distracting to other drivers.
  • Violating traffic laws[2] – Aggressive drivers tend to violate traffic laws in many different ways. For example, common behaviors include speeding, tailgating, unnecessary lane changes on a frequent basis, running red lights or stop signs, running cars off the road, passing on the wrong side, and more.
  • Following cars off the road – In certain extreme cases of aggressive driving, a driver’s anger may lead them to follow another car off the road. Once they are in a parking lot or stopped in another area, the aggressive driver may get out and threaten to hurt the other driver, may display weapons, or may even become physically violent.

As you can imagine, all of the above behaviors can result in collisions and other encounters that may result in physical injury. The law allows you to hold an aggressive driver responsible for their actions and for covering all of your losses, including medical costs, lost income, and more.

Avoid aggressive driving accidents

While you cannot control the actions and emotions of other drivers, you can take certain steps to try to avoid harmful encounters. The following are only some suggestions for avoiding aggressive driving accidents:

  • Give them space – Whenever possible, get out of the path of an aggressive driver as quickly as possible. Move over a lane or even pull over if you can safely do so in order to let them pass you. You should not try to speed up or hold your own in a lane. If you simply allow them to pass by, hopefully they will not have an effect on you.
  • Do not retaliate – If another driver yells at you or makes any obscene or rude gestures, you should swallow your pride and avoid gesturing back. If you engage them in any way, it can only encourage their aggressive behavior and escalate the situation.
  • Do not hit the brakes – If an aggressive driver is tailgating you, you should never hit your brakes to try to scare them or get them to back off. Instead, you should allow them to pass you. Hitting the brakes unexpectedly can only increase the chances that they will crash into the back of your car.
  • Report the driver to authorities – If a driver is being dangerous or seems like they may be violent, call the police to help you. Even if you are able to drive away from the aggressive driver, the police can stop them so that they do not continue to put drivers at risk.

What happens if you are in an aggressive driving accident

If an aggressive driver causes a collision or runs you off the road, you should always wait for the authorities to arrive on the scene if possible so they can make a report and issue any tickets to the aggressive driver for violations of law. You should then seek a medical evaluation to make sure that any injuries you suffered are properly diagnosed and treated. Finally, you should discuss a possible legal claim with an experienced auto accident lawyer. A lawyer can help to gather evidence of the aggressive driving and any other wrongful behavior in order to help you hold the driver accountable. In addition, you should always practice safe driving techniques and try not to engage aggressive drivers so that you can avoid accidents and injuries whenever possible.


[1] http://www.nhtsa.gov/Aggressive
[2] http://www.phila.gov/philacode/html/_data/title12/

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