Few things are more irritating than sharing the road with an aggressive driver. You do your best to follow the speed limit, leave space between yourself and other vehicles, and follow the rules of the road—but that’s not enough to protect you in every case. Aggressive drivers speed, whip around other cars without a thought, and otherwise endanger everyone on the road.
It should come as no surprise that aggressive driving can significantly increase your likelihood of being involved in an accident. If you’ve been hurt in a crash caused by a dangerous driver, call the Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883 to set up a consultation now.
Common Types of Aggressive Driving Behaviors
One of the defining characteristics of aggressive drivers is their speed. Excessive speeding is one of the most common types of aggressive driving—this doesn’t include those who go a few miles over the speed limit but does include those who drive so fast that it is impossible to navigate safely. Aggressive drivers seem to be in a rush at all times. In addition to speeding, they may weave in and out of traffic, attempt to intimidate other drivers to get out of their way, and ignore stop signs and lights.
Some of the most common aggressive driving behaviors include passing where prohibited, failure to use turn signals, racing, swerving in front of other vehicles, driving on the shoulder or median, and following too closely.
How Aggressive Driving Leads to Collisions
The connection between aggressive driving and accidents is clear. When you drive, you have a duty to others on the road to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety. Aggressive driving breaches that duty and actively endangers others. Aggressive drivers force others to take evasive action to protect their own safety and that of the aggressive driver.
Statistically, it can be difficult to show the role aggressive driving plays in collisions. This is because the term “aggressive driving” is broad enough to include many different behaviors. However, a growing body of research examines the link between aggressive driving behaviors and accidents. Per the Insurance Information Institute, aggressive driving was a factor in 56% of fatal crashes between 2003 and 2007. The most common aggressive driving behavior contributing to this statistic is excessive speeding.
To put it simply, aggressive driving is any type of driving that endangers other people or property. Many drivers will be able to react to aggressive driving in time to prevent a crash. Not everyone will be able to take evasive action that quickly, though—and there’s always the chance of two aggressive drivers finding each other. In these scenarios, accidents are not only likely but nearly inevitable.
Aggressive Driving Can Make Accidents More Severe
It is important to note that aggressive driving doesn’t just impact the frequency of traffic accidents. It also affects the severity of accidents. When drivers are operating recklessly or under the influence of road rage, their ability to make calm and rational decisions is severely compromised. When that combines with unexpected traffic, obstacles on the road, or changes in road conditions, the results are disastrous.
Even if a driver isn’t affected by road rage, they’re likely still not in the best emotional state to drive safely and react appropriately to obstacles. The stress and irritation that push drivers to operate aggressively can also affect their emotional stability and ability to take evasive measures when necessary.
Preventing Aggressive Driving
Decreasing aggressive driving rates across the country could greatly affect accident rates. Law enforcement plays a big role in addressing aggressive driving, as enforcement of current laws and speed limits could deter unsafe driving behaviors. Public education efforts are another avenue to explore, as drivers must understand the dangers of their actions and the potential consequences they face if they cause a severe or fatal crash.
Technology is another important aspect of limiting aggressive driving behaviors. Automatic emergency braking to avoid collisions, lane departure alarms, and cruise control can all mitigate the dangers of an unsafe driver.
Start Your Personal Injury Claim with the Dodd Law Firm
Have you been injured in a car crash? The team at the Dodd Law Firm can help you fight for compensation. Call us at 203-272-1883 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.