Aggressive drivers are a danger not only to themselves, but to other motorists and pedestrians as well. According to a 2009 study by the American Automobile Association (AAA), which was based on data tracked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving played a role in 56% of fatal accidents from 2003 to 2007.
Meanwhile, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety’s (OTS) 2016 annual report, there were over 70,000 speed-related injuries from 2011 to 2014. Moreover, 19% of California drivers think that speeding and aggressive driving are the biggest safety problems in the state’s roadways.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
An aggressive driver, as defined by the NHTSA, is a motorist who “commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”
Examples of aggressive driving include:
- Weaving recklessly through traffic
- Shouting at other motorists
- Making obscene gestures while driving
- Failing to yield at stop signs or traffic lights
A distinction is made between aggressive driving, which is considered a traffic offense, and road rage, which is considered a criminal offense. The latter is defined as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle or precipitated by an incident that occured on a roadway.”
Road rage is considered to be an extreme form of aggressive driving, and can lead to altercations and collisions (including rear-end collisions, head on collisions, and t-bone collisions), resulting in serious physical injuries, damages to property, and even death.
To ensure your safety, it’s best to stay out of the path of any motorist displaying the tell-tale signs of aggressive driving or road rage.
Things to Remember When Dealing With an Aggressive Driver
1. Don’t Argue
If an aggressive driver rams into your vehicle, it’s tempting to react in kind. However, you should never argue with the other party as it could escalate the tense situation even further. Moreover, you shouldn’t apologize to the aggressive driver, as the party at fault may be further aggravated by your apologies or assume that you’re admitting to causing the accident.
Neither finding fault nor apologizing is appropriate after a collision. Instead, you should calmly exchange insurance information with the other driver and get the contact information of any witnesses.
2. Never Negotiate With the Other Party
Some drivers know that their insurance premiums will rise after the crash and will attempt to settle the incident in private without informing their insurer. In the case of an aggressive driving accident, this is not a wise move. If the aggressive driver does not pay up later as agreed, or if you or any other victims’ injuries turn out to be more severe than initially believed, then a failure to file a police report or gather appropriate evidence from the scene can weaken your case.
Contact your insurance carrier as your insurance may contain provisions that any accidents involving your vehicle should be reported to them, otherwise your coverage may be voided.
3. Contact the Authorities, Paramedics, and Legal Professionals
You’ll need to call the authorities to investigate the accident and contact the paramedics for emergency medical treatment. Finally, to successfully file an aggressive driving car accident claim against the defendant, contact an experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles. Seasoned and knowledgeable attorneys can adroitly handle your case, helping you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve against the party at fault.