Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
Aggressive driving and road rage are two examples of dangerous driving behavior that can lead to serious, potentially fatal, car accidents. While road rage tends to be more violent and physical in nature, both can endanger other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists that share the road with these individuals who let their emotions get out of control. According to a survey by ABC News and the Washington Post, 32 percent of respondents believe that aggressive driving is the biggest threat to their safety while on the road.
Aggressive Driving vs. Road Rage
Aggressive driving is defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as committing a combination of traffic offenses that can threaten the safety of other individuals or their property. Examples of aggressive driving include the following:
- Driving on the shoulder, median, or sidewalk
- Driving through red lights or stop signs
- Failing to obey traffic signals such as yield signs
- Failing to use turn signals
- Failing to yield when other vehicles have the right of way
- Making frequent unsafe lane changes
- Passing a car in a zone where passing is prohibited
- Reckless driving
While speeding is not always meant to be aggressive in nature, it is responsible for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). In fact, the GHSA reports that 10,530 people suffered fatalities in speeding-related car accidents in 2010, and it continues to be a serious issue today. When an individual is driving too fast, they do not have enough time to react to dangerous situations, making it more difficult to safely handle curves and increases the force of impact, if a wreck occurs.
In some cases, aggressive driving can escalate into road rage. The National Safety Council defines road rage as a physical assault of another driver or vehicle that occurs as a result of a traffic incident. The driver with road rage will often use their vehicle to inflict physical harm to another driver or their property. Examples of road rage include the following:
- Cutting off another vehicle, then stopping abruptly, causing a rear-end collision
- Honking a horn or flashing the vehicle’s headlights repeatedly
- Yelling rude comments or making offensive hand gestures towards another driver
The following road rage statistics are provided by the American Safety Council:
- Young males are more likely to exhibit this type of behavior
- Thirty-seven percent of all road rage incidents involve firearms
- Half of all road rage victims respond with aggressive behavior
- Over a seven-year period, 12,610 injuries and 218 murders were due to road rage
If you encounter another driver who is showing signs of aggressive driving or road rage, get out of the way, and allow the driver to pass you, avoiding any eye contact with the other driver. Do not make any rude comments or hand gestures to the other driver, even if they have directed them towards you. If you are concerned about your safety or are worried about the safety of other drivers, call 911.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Aggressive Driving
If you have been injured in a car accident involving an aggressive driver or a situation that escalated to road rage, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. This type of behavior is unacceptable and we will aggressively pursue the individual responsible for causing your injuries. Our dedicated legal team will seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.